Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed SB159 “School Choice Bill” into law.
SB159 was both well written, and well meaning. This School Choice bill will now provide the opportunity for certain lower-income families to send their children to a non-public school of their choice. A choice that is most often not available for these families. SB159 will improve the entire education system in South Dakota in two ways:
(1) Every student learns in his or her own way, and every family operates in their own way. Allowing more students more options will always help to ensure that a student is getting the best possible education. SB159 allows for an education that specifically fits their needs.
(2) Allowing more students the opportunity to attend a non-public school, will infuse a higher level of competition within the different schools in South Dakota. Within the free market, when there is healthy competition, each competitor will strive for excellence in every way possible.
One thing should be made clear, neither the reasons listed above, nor any of the other supportive arguments for SB159 are meant to say that the public school system is a poor system as it most definitely is not. The School Choice Bill will simply bring into South Dakota what its name implies: an increased ability for School Choice.
Finally, we at Family Heritage Alliance Action want to thank all those who put in a tremendous amount of work into the passage of SB159: Our Governor for his signature; Senator Phyllis Heineman and Representative Brian Gosch (the Bill’s Prime Sponsors); The supporting Legislators, the stakeholders, and the parents. Your desire to help students receive the best possible education is admirable and noble. We at FHA will continue our support of this concept, and those that champion it, as we watch this plan of action unfold in the coming years.