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February 20, 2012 06:02 PM

Opponents Of Education Bill Start Online Petitions

spearfish, sd


There is now online opposition to the controversial education reform bill making its way through the state legislature.
Links to Internet petitions calling to scrap the bill are circulating.

One of the petition's creators hopes this will give more people in the state an opportunity to sound off on the bill.

"Teaching in South Dakota has been the job I wanted to do since I first went to college. I could always picture myself in a classroom, at the board, at the desks working with students," Spearfish teacher and online petitioner Cory Heidelberger said.

Now, the Spearfish teacher and author of the political blog, "Madville Times" is circulating an online petition that calls on state leaders to scrap the current bill.

"It's bad enough that we just cut education by $52 million last year, and somehow say that putting $15 million back is a wonderful revelation. But what bugs me worse is that we're not even putting that $15 million into things that are proven to work," Heidelberger said.

Heidelberger's petition also suggests that the state conduct more research on how to improve education before passing any reform bill.

"The whole thrust of HB 1234 is to improve student achievement. There's no evidence saying that the actual things that we're going to do in HB 1234 are going to improve student achievement," Heidelberger said.

And with education reform affecting people across the state, Heidelberger hopes that these petitions help give more of those people a voice.

"This is a top-down reform that is not based on South Dakota values. It is not enshrining local control. It's not respecting teachers. It's just an awful idea. And a petition like this is just one more way that we can put on the record for our leaders that if you're voting for this, you're not doing what the people want," Heidelberger said.

To take a look at the petitions, follow these links:
Stop House Bill 1234 and Convene a K-12 Task Force
Protect Public Education and Defeat HB 1234
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