Homeschooling parents in South Dakota are applauding passage of legislation that gives their kids equal access to the state's opportunity scholarship program.
Gov. Kristi Noem signed House Bill 1040 that ends 15 years of discrimination against homeschoolers.
Home School Legal Defense attorney Scott Woodruff says before the law was passed, homeschool students could access the scholarship only if they scored better on their ACTs than public school students.
"Homeschool students had to score a 28,” he says, “but everyone else only had to score a 24 to get the scholarship."
Woodruff says legislators came very close to passing this legislation last year but claims then-Governor Dennis Daugaard betrayed homeschoolers
"We had a very good bill that would have put us on exactly level playing ground with all others. It went through the House and the Senate very strongly,” the attorney recalls. “And then to our shock and dismay Gov. Daugaard vetoed it."
The scholarship allows homeschool graduates to attend a public university or college at a reduced rate, granting students $1,500 annually towards tuition.