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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

No Change in Open Enrollment Funding

No changes are being made to the amount of money schools get for students that open enroll. Senate Bill 197 attempts to alter the calculation of small school adjustment in the state aid to education formula when students choose to change schools. Under current legislation, schools receive the same amount of money for students who open enroll and those that are actually in the district. Bob Sittig is the superintendent of the Baltic School District. He says he opposes Senate Bill 197 because small schools are less efficient than larger schools.
 
“I’ve heard about fairness in the testimony, but I don’t think it’s fair to penalize a school twice when a student open enrolls in from a larger school. I heard a couple other comments, one was about bussing. If bussing is the issue, then let’s address that. I don’t think this bill does that. I’ve heard about recruitment, if recruitment’s the issue, then let’s address that. I don’t believe this bill does that. My last comment that I heard is about equity in education. I contend that if this bill passes, there will be less equity in education because small schools will have less resources, they won’t be able to offer an equitable education to all students, not just ones that open enroll in,” Sittig says.
 
Supporters of the bill say open enrollment was created as a choice for parents, but now it’s turned into a recruiting tool and shouldn’t be used to keep schools alive. Members of the Senate State Affairs committee deferred the legislation to the 41st day.