â€œI want my kids to grow up in a state that cares about education, that cares about quality of life, that cares about each other,â€ he said. â€œI think we need to do better; we can do better.â€
...In the 2011 legislative session, school districts saw funding reductions of 8 percent, although with an infusion of one-time money it was actually 6.6 percent, he said.
The Associated School Boards of South Dakota, however, said the state has lost nearly 500 jobs in K-12 public education.
â€œOur school districts were hurt, our kids were hurt, our administrators were hurt and our future was hurt,â€ Studer said.
Public universities also took huge hits, with SDSU losing much of its Extension service. County offices were closed or consolidated.
â€œThe reason that we are where we are in agriculture today is because of research and education and it was slashed,â€ he said.
...The controversial HB 1234 that opponents are trying to refer to a public vote in November could pit teachers against each other as they seek to receive bonuses and merit pay. Teachers arenâ€™t in the profession because of the money but because they love teaching and kids, but Studer and other opponents of the bill worry they may no longer collaborate in their schools [Roger Larsen, "Studer Says Education Is Key to Future,"Â Huron Plainsman, 2012.04.09].