South Dakota House to Vote Tuesday on Bill to Eliminate Common Core

A bill slated for a hearing and vote Tuesday in the South Dakota House of Representatives would phase out the Common Core standards by 2017 and allow the creation of replacement standards.

HB 1223 states:

The South Dakota Board of Education shall end the state’s involvement with the Common Core State Standards Initiative no later than June 30, 2017. Further, it is the policy of the State of South Dakota that no multistate educational standards related to, similar to, or associated with the Common Core State Standards Initiative may be adopted in this state.

The Argus Leader reports that though the bill was killed in the House Education Committee by a vote of 8-7, lawmakers raised it again on the Floor and are set to bring it before the full House.

State Rep. Dan Kaiser (R), a co-sponsor of the measure, said, “It was a very close vote on a very hot political issue that I believe needs to be discussed.”

In what is referred to as a “smoke out” measure, Kaiser invoked legislative rule to force a bill from the House Education Committee to the floor of the House as long as one-third of the lawmakers agreed.

Though the bill would not eliminate Common Core immediately, Mary Scheel-Buysse, co-founder of South Dakotans Against Common Core, acknowledged, “We didn’t get into Common Core overnight; we’re not going to get out of Common Core overnight.”

Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Stadick Smith said the state has spent at least $4 million on training for the implementation of the Common Core standards, and local school districts have also spent money on curriculum and materials.

“Standards form that backbone of that framework for what teachers do on a day to day basis in their classroom,” Stadick Smith said. “If that is gone or removed, what backbone or framework do we have then?”

According to the Leader, she added that Common Core offers schools throughout the nation a way to ensure students are prepared for college and the workforce.

“We want to make sure our students are prepared for what they’re going to face in higher education and in the world of work,” Stadick Smith said.


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