House Education Committee tables HB1002

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) — A House committee tabled a bill Friday that would have required all South Dakota 11th graders to take the ACT.

The ACT is a college entrance test used by some universities for admissions. It is also used in many scholarship applications.

The sponsor of HB 1002, Republican Rep. Tony Venhuizen (vin-high-zen) of Sioux Falls, asked the committee to table the bill. That was after Secretary of Education Joseph Graves testified that the department would require the ACT instead of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Test.

Graves said the state would move from the SBAT to the ACT for student and school assessment in the 2025-2026 school year.  He said Nebraska and Montana already use the ACT instead of the SBAT for the federally mandated evaluation of 11th graders.

However, Graves warned that the state’s ACT scores would decline with all students taking the test. About 58% of South Dakota high school students take the ACT.

The first attempt at the test will be free to students.

South Dakota Voice Action lobbyist Debbie Pease testified against the bill.

The committee voted 12 to 0 to table the measure.