After a few hearings a proposal to pay schools for homeschool student participation has passed.
House Bill 1119, which multiplies 0.10 by the number of homeschool children who are participating in interscholastic activities to the fall enrollment count for the state aid formula, passed the House Education committee on a 9-5 vote. Previously, the bill was tabled 11-3 during its first committee hearing and then in a subsequent hearing was taken off the table on a 9-6 vote.
ASBSD supports the bill which addresses the topic broached during last year’s debate on Senate Bill 177, which made significant changes to homeschool laws, including the activity participation policies, but was ultimately not included.
“The idea behind this bill is to provide funding. We appreciate Rep. Blare following through,” ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services Jessica Filler told committee members, adding the addition of the homeschool students participating saw “program costs increase” and the added funding would be “helpful” for schools.
“I think it’s our responsibility to fund that mandate,” Rep. Blare said.
A sentiment Rep. Will Mortenson shared.
“Right now, we’ve put the burden of all those expenses on the public school,” Rep. Mortenson said. “We don’t have many bills that are pro-homeschool and pro-public schools…(it’s) good for the kids.”
An amendment to the bill, which now heads to the House floor for review, clarifies the funding is for high activities sanctioned or sponsored by the South Dakota High School Activities Association.