As schools throughout the country continue to be corrupted by progressive ideology and activist teaching, it’s more important than ever that students have as many educational options as possible. Where a child attends school can drastically change their life and impact their development. However, many parents want to keep their children out of public schools, but don’t have the ability to homeschool or send them to expensive private schools. In 2021, Family Heritage Alliance worked to expand school choice and cut the red tape around homeschooling. In 2022, we’re working to defend school choice and ensure that students’ needs are met and parental rights are respected.
Last year, we helped South Dakota homeschooling families achieve major success with a bill that made changes to the areas of notification, testing, and activities. Senate Bill 177 excuses a child from attending school if they are provided alternative instruction. We ultimately safeguarded the ability to homeschool without overbearing restrictions. Parents know what is best, and we want to empower them to teach their children at home. You can view last year’s bill here.
Back in 2016, we helped pass the Partners in Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program which assists low-income families with scholarships to accredited private schools. The program has grown substantially over the last five years with 863 students participating during the last school year (2020-2021). Again, we enabled many parents to do what they believe is best for their children. This year we are asking the Legislature to increase the donation cap from 2 million to 3.5 million so that even more students can benefit from the program and attend the school that best serves their needs. The bill was read in the Senate last week and is now scheduled for a hearing. You can view the donation cap bill here.
Numerous stories have emerged about progressive indoctrination in public schools. Further, some teachers and administrators are not concerned with parental rights, and despite opposition, many continue to teach morally corrupt ideas that can permanently harm children. The power of education cannot be overstated. As President Abraham Lincoln once said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Parents must be incredibly intentional when deciding where their children will go to school and what ideas they will be exposed to.
Family Heritage Alliance has made defending school choice a priority this year. In order to protect and best serve our children, we must ensure that homeschooling, private schools, charter schools, and other options are available to all students. This will not only benefit individual families, but the future of our country.
Please pray for the success of our school choice initiatives and for the prosperity of virtuous education in our state.