Committee members returned the civics test bill back to its original form recently.
Senate Education committee members amended House Bill 1066, requires students to take a civics test before graduating from high school, back to the bill’s original form and passed it on a 5-2 vote.
When it initially reached the committee, HB 1066 only required public and private school students to be assessed before graduating from high school, but it utilized 10 questions – selected by the Secretary of Education each year – from the United States’ citizenship test. ASBSD opposed this version of the bill.
“We think all kids should take the test,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany told committee members. “It’s fair that every student demonstrate this knowledge.”
Homeschool students are again included in the testing requirement, but S.D. Secretary of Education Ben Jones noted during the bill’s hearing “the governor and I saw that it (requirement) fell outside the scope of homeschool law.”
An idea Sen. Blake Curd disputed.
“It’s important for all students,” Sen. Curd said, adding that he didn’t see the rationale for exempting a group from the testing requirement.
“In it’s amended form (HB) 1066 scribes to its initial intent. I think it’s much better than what we started with today.”