Huge kudos to State Senator Mark Johnston and his attempt (SB 98) to help high school students enter college level math courses their senior year of high school! Governor Daugaard’s education proposal has overshadowed everything this session. I realize Johnson’s bill failed by one vote but this bill represents the kind of thinking I want to see from our legislative body when it comes to education. Push the kids forward and help open up new oppurtunities.
SB98 would have created a one-year pilot project for math and science academies at the University Centers in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
Two cohorts of 24 high school seniors would have lived at home while taking college classes on the University Center campuses with an emphasis on math and science. The $5,205 per-student cost was to have been split evenly among the state, student and school district.
Prime sponsor Sen. Mark Johnston, R-Sioux Falls, said he intends to bring the concept back next year. He wants to offer students a more challenging senior year of high school.
The model exists in some other states, including Northwest Missouri State, Johnston?s alma mater.
Mark Lee, executive dean at the University Center in Sioux Falls, said the college-freshman-level courses would help students graduate college more quickly.
?They get a true introduction to college-level classes in a college environment,? he said.
Quite frankly this is an idea I would have preferred to see Governor Daugaard get behind. This legislation failed by one vote and four Republican legislators were excused during the vote. I wish I knew more about why they were excused.
I can’t imagine the frustration Senator Johnston is feeling! His bill offered a great oppurtunity to high school seniors.