Common Core Council bill passes committee

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Common Core Council bill passes committee

The conversation around Common Core came to the legislature for the first time in 2014.


Members of the Senate Education committee voted 5-2 to pass Senate Bill 62, which calls for the creation of the South Dakota Common Core Standards Evaluation Council.


ASBSD supports the implementation of the Common Core Standards.


An idea developed in part by Senator Ernie Otten, the Council would be charged with conducting a comprehensive examination of the Common Core standards and reporting their findings to the legislature by December, 2015.


The council allows for an “honest dialogue” about the standards, said Sen. Otten. It’s a sentiment not shared by some opponents of Common Core.


“It (SB 62) does not pause the implementation of the Common Core Standards,” Mary Scheel-Buysse, a self-described concerned citizen, said. Scheel-Buysse also said the proposed council, created by the bill, would be slanted in favor of Common Core.


The proposed 23-member council would include Senators, Representatives, administrators, teachers, parents, a school board member and representatives from various education associations and departments. Council members would be appointed by legislators and Gov. Dennis Daugaard.


“What do we do? Have people sign in blood they’re against it (Common Core)?” Sen. Bruce Rampelberg, a Senate Ed. committee member, asked.


Sen. Rampelberg said potential council members should not have to declare support or opposition for Common core, but rather make a decision on the standards based on what’s best for schools.


Fellow committee member, Sen. Phil Jensen, introduced an amendment that would require the council be made up of an even number of supporters and detractors of Common Core. The amendment did not pass.


Sen. Otten said opponents are “prejudging” a council that has not been assembled yet and should wait to see what the information says about the standards.


The bill advances to the Senate floor for vote. ASBSD is monitoring the bill.


For updates on SB 62 and other pieces of legislation, check the ASBSD Blog. To see ASBSD’s position on bills, visit the ASBSD Bill Tracker page.

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