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Moratorium imposed on Common Core in SD

South Dakota lawmakers have passed a two-year moratorium on further Common Core education standards. (File photo)

PIERRE -- State officials have said repeatedly this winter there aren't any plans by the state Board of Education to adopt additional Common Core standards or any other multi-state standards for South Dakota schools.

But just in case, a two-year moratorium won final legislative approval Wednesday.

The House of Representatives voted 63-3 for the temporary ban. The state Department of Education supported the move, which its lead House sponsor, Rep. Jim Bolin, R-Canton, described as "a waiting period."

The measure, SB 64, also has some potential long-term effect. It would require the state board to take at least six months to consider any content standards and have a quorum of board members at each of four public hearings required in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen and Pierre.

The Senate previously passed the legislation 28-6. Its next stop is the desk of Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who seems likely to sign it into law. Its prime sponsor is Sen. Ernie Otten, R-Tea, who worked with state Education Secretary Melody Schopp on it.

Otten brought a package of three bills dealing with Common Core.

His most sweeping measure called for creation of a special review panel, but it failed in the Senate last month at the hands of a coalition of Republicans opposed to Common Core, Republicans who thought it should have gone through the appropriations process, and Democrats supporting Common Core.

Otten's third bill, SB 63, protecting student privacy, awaits House action. It also has the support of the Education Department and many opponents of Common Core.

The state board adopted the national Common Core standards for math and English language arts in November 2010 after a public hearing. Last year, as schools began to implement the new standards, opponents began to go to state board meetings to protest.