Action Alert 1/28/22: Hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd, 7am in Pierre. Can you be there?
What you can do: Please email all Senate Education Committee members individually (no mass emails please) and the Senator in your district and tell them to please vote no on this bill. See details below.
We need you in Pierre on Thursday February 2nd at approximately 7:00 a.m. CST. Check back Tuesday night for a time confirmation. Room 423. When you arrive give yourself 10-15 minutes to get through security. No weapons, knives, metal etc. Please dress in your Sunday best! If you're brining kids, please know that it could be a long hearing. Prepare little ones with quiet activities. We need to be on our best behavior. Children need to be attentive and polite. If your child is struggling please swiftly take them out. Questions? Email us! Action@fairsd.org.
This bill seeks to strip alternative instruction families of their current right to choose the best school district for their children. All children in South Dakota currently have the right to choose which school district they want to attend as long as that district has room for them. This right is called Open Enrollment. It's a system that has been working well for almost 20 years and provides real, meaningful choices for every South Dakota family. It was expanded in 2021 to apply to Alternative Instruction/homeschooled children.
What we NEED from you (if you haven’t already, please email the Senate Education Committee & your Senator).
1. If you have contacts with public or private school officials, please contact them and ask them to contact the Senate Education Committee. Have them tell the Committee that they enjoy their partnerships with homeschool students, and open enrollment works well for their district.
2. Please email each member of the Senate Education Committee (the first stop for this bill) and ask them to vote NO on this bill and vote NO on any potential amendments to it. Tell them why homeschool families should be free to choose their district.
3. Please also email the Senator from YOUR district and tell them why Senate Bill 57 should be killed in Committee. Ask your Senator to speak with the Senate Education Committee members about voting no on it and voting no on any amendments.
Why would homeschool families want to open enroll?
1. Freedom- ALL South Dakota parents should have the choice to choose the district that will best serve their children, including homeschool families. South Dakota should be providing the broadest range of access to educational opportunities possible to ALL S.D. kids, not limiting it.
2. Geography- some people simply live closer to a school in a different district. School size- some kids would benefit from a larger or smaller school environment.
3. Class and activities offered- not all schools offer all types of classes or activities. A school in another district might a better fit for a child academic or activities interest. This access to tax-funded educational opportunities in the district that best suits the child is integral to meaningful choice for homeschool families.
What should I say in my email?
1. Please email each Senator individually. In subject line write "No on SB 57." If they are from your district use, "Constitutent, NO on SB 57." You will most likely send eight separate emails unless your Senator happens to be on the Education Committee, which is even better.
2. Tell your story of how and why this would damage your children's educational opportunities and experiences; even if it doesn't now, how it could in the future.
3. Remain polite, and professional and personalize each email. If you want, you can attach a fun picture of your family or kids. These Senators put in very long hours, and we really appreciate what they are doing for South Dakota so make sure to thank them for their service to the state.
4. To find the emails click on the links below.
Would your family be personally affected by this bill? If so please email us your story.
Questions? Feel free to contact us at action@FAIRSD.org
It is a right we currently have and it is greatly improving educational opportunities for S.D. families.
Can you be in Pierre to show the Senate Education Committee that we are fighting for our right to choose our school district?
Can you send emails to the Committee asking for a NO vote? Click below.