Governor Dennis Daugaard's education reforms are already becoming a campaign issue. Newly announced State House candidate Mike Knudson puts education at the top of his Issues page and says the following about HB 1234:
Education is the single biggest advantage we can give our children. We need to start focusing on our children because they are the future. The Sioux Falls and Harrisburg School Districts are doing an outstanding job educating our students with limited resources. The recently proposed educational â€œreformsâ€ will in fact make our schools, worse not better. They are either untested extreme ideas or reruns of ideas that have failed elsewhere. To really improve education, we need to couple practical ideas generated with the assistance of teachers and administrators who have â€œin the trenchesâ€ experience with adequate funding. K-12 education needs more funding and our teachers deserve to get paid better [Mike Knudson, "Issues," campaign website, retrieved 2012.03.11].
Democrat Knudson's only officially declared opponent, Republican Manny Steele, voted for HB 1234 twice, as did District 12's other House member, Republican Hal Wick. So did District 12 Republican Senator Mark Johnston, who I think lives just a block over from Knudson.
Expect more Demsâ€”and maybe even some right-thinking Republicansâ€”to ride opposition to HB 1234 hard for votes this November.