Sioux Falls School District will testify against vaccination bill

Education

The Sioux Falls School District is going to be testifying in Pierre Tuesday against a bill that revises the provisions for student immunizations. But that’s not the only bill it’s watching closely.

During her budget address this year, Governor Kristi Noem said there would be no increase in state aid to education, which caught a lot of districts off guard, including Sioux Falls.

“If it stays at 0% we’re going to have to make some cuts; cuts in a district can be people or programs, if it’s a large cut it’s people,” superintendent Brian Maher said.

Superintendent Brian Maher says he’s hopeful something will change in Pierre before the district has to go down that road.

The district is also going to be testifying against House Bill 1235 which would not require students to be vaccinated before entering school.

“We are very cognizant of somebody who has their own mindset of ‘we want to make the choice for our child,’ as a parent I’m all in on that; as a society we have to say what’s safe for all of our kids the biggest hook that I would hang my hat on is if vaccinations are not a requirement, many kids who are incredibly vulnerable, medically fragile could be put in peril because of a decision that somebody else made, not to be vaccinated,” Maher said.

The district also opposes House Bill 1167; a provision that would revise confidential communications between a student and certain school employees; for instance reporting any kind of abuse.

“We’re nervous we wouldn’t be able to protect a child in certain situations, if we weren’t able to either talk about the information or share the information we just think it’s overly restrictive,

The district also opposes House Bill 1104 that restricts a schools’ ability to require a medical release of information in order to participate in activities.

“There are a lot of things when students are involved in activities that determine whether or not they care capable of participating in activities something that a simple physical could prevent,” Maher said.

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