March 3, 2020 - Dual Credit Gets a Second Look

Special Events


South Dakota Chamber Of Commerce - Capitol-ism E-Newsletter
Fredrikson Banner Ad

March 3, 2020


Dual Credit Gets a Second Look


High school students in South Dakota can take selected courses and receive credit for both high school graduation AND credit at a post-secondary school (aka – college) and the State will pay for both sets of credit.  The high school portion of the credit is part of funding K-12 education and the college credits get covered at a reduced cost.

This allows students to enter college with credits toward graduation without having to take classes that are not really different than the high school level classes.  Use of dual credit has increased significantly and now costs the State budget more than $4 million dollars.

Here is an overview that was part of a program review done by the Legislative Research Council last November:

Overview - The South Dakota high school dual credit program has experienced rapid growth since its inception in 2014.  The program allows eligible high school students to receive both secondary and postsecondary credit from courses completed at the Board of Regents universities and South Dakota's four technical institutes. State statute establishes the reduced tuition rate and subsidizes two-thirds of the cost with state general funds. As a result of the increased program participation, annual state expenditures have nearly tripled and are expected to continue to grow. This program evaluation examines state and institutional program policies, analyzes student outcomes, and compares the South Dakota dual credit program with similar programs in surrounding states. 

A series of bills to narrow the focus of dual credits programs has been working through the process.  None of these bills would end the dual credit program – rather they are designed to avoid wasted costs paid for classes when students either fail the class or withdraw before the class is done. 

Here is a brief summary of the bills addressing dual credit classes:

SB 142 started out as a prohibition against using the dual credit program for remedial courses but was expanded to include a sanction against students who didn’t get credit because of failing or withdrawing from the class.  Here is that language:

If a student receives a failing grade in any course or withdraws from a course after 14 the deadline and does not receive credit for the course, the student may no longer 15 participate in the program. The Board of Regents or Board of Technical Education may 16 reinstate a student who is prohibited from participating in the dual credit program if the 17 student demonstrates good cause for failing a course or withdrawing from a course, or if 18 at the student's expense the student retakes and passes the course that the student 19 withdrew from or failed. 20 The dual credit program may not be used for remedial courses.

SB 143, which was tabled in Senate Appropriations Committee, would have required students who failed or withdrew from dual credit classes to pay the cost of those classes.  As the lobbyist for the Sioux Falls Chamber pointed out, the method of repayment, whether to the school or post-secondary institution was never made clear.

SB 144 – has the same language as SB 142 (above) without the line about not using the program for remedial courses.  This bill is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday March 4th - leaving a question about the reason to have the same language in two bills.


Updates from Last Week

SB 70 – Driver’s license in Spanish  

Speaker Haugaard (R-S Falls) has assigned SB 70 to House Transportation (listed below).  The hearing on SB 70 has been scheduled for Thursday, March 5th

The key message points on SB 70 continue to be:

  • The driving portion of the test will continue to be in English
  •  Only the manual and test questions will be translated into Spanish
  •  Most of the Spanish speaking applicants already speak some English – they just don’t read it well enough to study or take the test in English.
  • They will become more integrated by being at work – with English speaking coworkers

Members of the House Transportation Committee are:

Chair: John Mills

Vice-Chair: David Anderson

Full Committee:

Anderson, David (R – Hudson)

Bordeaux, Shawn (D – Mission)

Chase, Roger (R – Huron)

Duvall, Mary (R – Pierre) 

Finck, Caleb (R – Tripp) 

Goodwin, Tim (R – Rapid City) 

Johnson, David (R – Rapid City) 

Lesmeister, Oren (D – Parade)

Livermont, Steve (R – Martin) 

Mills, John (R – Volga) 

Steele, Manny (R – Sioux Falls) 

Weis, Kaleb (R - Aberdeen)

Zikmund, Larry (R – Sioux Falls)


The coalition working on SB 70 is still working with the Governor’s representatives but nothing firm has developed so the work to pass the bill continues.

HB 1235 - revise provisions regarding immunizations.

The bill strikes language from the law that requires students to be immunized against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, rubeola, rubella, 9 mumps, tetanus, meningitis, and varicella.  This language is replaced by the following: 

No child entering public or nonpublic school, or a public or nonpublic early childhood program in this state, may be required to receive any immunization or medical procedure for enrollment or entry. The Department of Health may recommend any immunization for school entry but may not require them. No school may use any coercive means to require immunization.

The bill was heard in House Health and Human Services Committee on last week on Tuesday February 26th, a hearing that lasted more than 90 minutes.  After extensive questions and debate HB 1235 was deferred to the 41st day on a vote of 10-Yea to 2-Nay.  Here is that vote:

HB 1235, House Health and Human Services, Deferred to the 41st legislative day - 2020

  Yeas 10  Nays 2  Excused 1  Absent 0











Jensen (Kevin) 










St. John 







HB 1096 - prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, provide a penalty for facilitating a commercial surrogacy.  This bill would ban paid surrogates but allow altruistic surrogacy.  There are questions about whether the limits on paying the costs of a surrogate mother might in fact prohibit paying for legal advice to protect her as the pregnancy proceeds. 

The bill had a hearing before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee last Thursday February 27th that was well run by Senator Deb Soholt (R-S Falls).  At the start of that hearing, the primary sponsor of the bill asked for an amendment that removed language calling for a study of surrogacy in South Dakota. 

The Chamber signed in as an opponent but did not testify during the hearing, leaving time for a number of proponents with expertise from out-of-state and opponents with personal stories of families made possible through surrogacy.   The Chamber has had concerns about the impact that an out-right ban of this option for some couples to have a family might have on people and businesses looking to move into or remain in South Dakota. 

The Chamber’s Board of Directors decided to join the opposition, if any became active.  A group of families that have used surrogacy and the Dakota Surrogacy Partnership had formed and hired a lobbyist.  If HB 1096 had passed, South Dakota would have become the fourth state to ban commercial surrogacy in the country.  The other three states include New York, a state that is considering a bill to reverse that ban during their current legislative session.    

HB 1096 was “deferred to the 41st day” (tabled) on a vote of 4-Yea to 3-Nay.

Voting to defer to the 41st day – Duhamel, Foster, Rusch, Soholt

Voting No to defer to the 41st day – Jensen (Phil), Russell, Steinhauer


Thank you for your support of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

This message has been sent to: FirstName  LastName

222 East Capitol | Suite 15 | PO Box 190 | Pierre, SD 57501
Contact | 605-224-6161
South Dakota Website Design and Development