Rep. Stace Nelson tells me that of the hundreds of e-mails he's received on HB 1234, Governor Daugaard's really bad stew of unproven and disproven education policies, exactly ***one*** has expressed support for this bill. One, out of hundreds.

Nearly everyone in South Dakota recognizes HB 1234 is a bad idea. We just need to convince 36 legislators of that fact. Let's make it happen, and save our schools!

The House convenes this morning at 10 a.m. and will take up HB 1234. The House vote last time was 41-28. Since then, many Republicans who voted aye have said they voted simply to let the "process" continue, not to endorse the bill. They have expressed misgivings about merit pay, over-emphasizing math and science, and ending continuing contract, all of which remain in this bad bill.

Rep. Nelson was out of the chamber last time the House voted; he should add a nay today. Rep. Scott Munsterman told a crackerbarrel Saturday that he will vote nay as well. That's 30 nays. We need at least five more.

Go get those five. Flip through the House roster: click on your Reps and contact them to urge a no vote on HB 1234 today. E-mail them our petition. Call the Capitol switchboard at Capitol 605-773-3851 to leave a message for your legislator. If you have the means, fax them your opinion (paper still speaks to legislators!) at the Legislature's fax number of 605-773-6806.

I've hollered a lot about HB 1234. It has completely distracted all of South Dakota from discussing the real problem, the need to restore the draconian budget cuts that set our school funding back five years and deprived students of hundreds of teachers and learning opportunities. But HB 1234 makes the problems in education worse by entangling us in policies that do not help our kids learn.

Call the House now, tell your Representatives to put the brakes on HB 1234.