According to the South Dakota Department of Education, 135,984 students are in the state’s public school system. Public school enrollment has actually gone up since 2018-2019’s pre-pandemic numbers (134,993). South Dakota has 149 districts with 687 schools. There are 9,825 public school teachers, and the attendance rate is 88%.
South Dakota is one of the few states that does not offer public charter or magnet schools. However, South Dakota has unrestricted open enrollment for public schools—which means families can attend any public school of their choice. Private school is another option for South Dakota families. If a family’s income falls 150% or more below the level required to qualify for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program, they may be eligible for private school scholarships through the Partners in Education Tax Credit Program. South Dakota families may also choose online learning or homeschool for their kids; it is required to notify the state about your intent to homeschool.