Governor Signs Senate Bill 159 School Choice Bill Into Law!

2016radar_icons_educationGovernor 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.

2016 Legislative Session Day 27

Well TODAY is the 27th day of the South Dakota Legislative Session’s 38 days.

handsraisedMany of you have been following, and rightly so, the process whereby we hope and pray that House Bill 1008, a bill that is designed to protect the privacy of ALL of our public school children – becomes law.  HB 1008 has now been delivered to our Governor Daugaard’s Desk.  It is our understanding that by midnight on Tuesday, March 1, he must sign this bill into law, veto this bill, or simply allow it to become law without his signature.

This bill, which was passed with the support of 75% of our Legislators, will require every elementary and secondary public school in the state to protect the privacy of boys and girls by ensuring that boys and girls do not use the same restrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms together.

We, the people of South Dakota, are legitimately concerned about safety and privacy, especially when it comes to children, but we are also concerned about treating everyone fairly, including people dealing with gender dysphoria. Our South Dakota legislators have struck a balance that respects all concerned and shines a clear path out of a tricky issue.

We certainly anticipate HB 1008 will come off of the Governor’s Desk with his Signature because it’s South Dakota Common Sense.  Please, take a moment, CALL Governor Daugaard (605-773-3212) and respectfully ask him to SIGN HB 1008 into law.

Senate Bill 129 now being called “Jason’s Law” has passed off of the Senate Floor with a unanimous vote.  This bill would require that Teachers be given a one-hour suicide prevention training as a part of their teacher re-certification process.

Senate Bill 159 also flew out of the Senate and we are grateful.  This bill empowers lower income families who choose to provide a private school education to their children, to be able to afford it. Sixteen other states have adopted this method successfully to provide more parental choice in the education of their children.

We were pleased recently to give testimony for and see passed on the Senate floor two bills, which will directly protect our children in a greater way.  They are:

Senate Bill 168, which seeks to protect juveniles from being victimized by the criminal activity of Human Trafficking.  In this bill a person, usually called the John, who pimps a child into this DARK lifestyle will now be charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

And then there is SB 169 a bill, which seeks to revise our child pornography laws.  Although this is a ‘baby step’ of a bill….it is a step in the right direction as it moves the selling of child pornography from a Class 2 charge to a more serious….Class 4 charge.
summit2As I close I’d like to share that our SD Ministry Leaders’ Capitol Summit held on Monday, Feb. 22 here in Pierre at the State Capitol was a terrific success.   Our keynote speaker, Mark Gonzales (Black Robed Regiment) blessed the 120 Pastors and Ministry Leaders who converged on the Capitol for a day of prayer, information, inspiration and influence.  I am so grateful to an FHA Staff that goes above and beyond the call of duty to help execute an event such as this.  Yes, it was “all hands on deck” and all our hard work paid off as all were blessed!

Until NEXT TIME please keep looking up and forward my friends!