Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bill clarifying homeschooled student activity participation defeated

A bill regarding homeschooled students participating in high school activities has died in committee.

Senate Bill 57 clarified that students receiving alternative instruction could only participate in athletics, fine arts or other activities in their home district instead of open enrolling in a different district.

Proponents said it would prevent homeschooled students from getting opportunities traditional students do not have. Rob Munson, executive director for School Administrators of South Dakota, spoke in favor of the bill and used his son as an example.

“He cannot get in his car at 3:15 after school’s out and drive 10 miles one direction or the other and participate in activities in another school district," Munson said. "Why should alternative instruction students have that opportunity?”

Opponents argued that limiting homeschooled students to activities in their home districts could force them to travel further than necessary. Gretchen Palmer, a homeschool parent, said the bill would mean her daughters could not play tennis at Rapid City Christian.

“This bill would penalize my family for homeschooling and leaves my daughters without a team despite the fact that we live within 15 miles of where four high school tennis teams play," she said.

The bill was defeated in the Senate Education Committee in a 5-2 vote.

Jordan is a senior English and journalism major at SDSU in Brookings. She is from De Smet, South Dakota. She is based out of the Sioux Falls studio.