District 8 Senate candidate Charlie Johnson says he hasn't heard one educator express support for Referred Law 16, Governor Daugaard's ideological school-wrecking plan.

Here's one: Nicole Keegan of Rapid City East Middle School:

Nicole Keegan (not to be confused with Staci Keenan, who played "Nicole" on My Two Dads) teaches English at East. Good thing she doesn't teach math. She claims the scholarship portion of RL16 will "keep our new teachers right here in South Dakota." Let's suppose there are a huge cadre of good new teachers whose decision whether or not to stay in South Dakota hinges on money. Those prospective teachers will add that scholarship to the maximum possible merit bonuses they might get. They'll multiply that premium by the five years they'll have to commit to stay in South Dakota. And they'll realize they can still get bigger and more reliable earning power by teaching anywhere but South Dakota.

Plus, they'll have fewer hoops to jump through than they will under the regime of Referred Law 16. Governor Daugaard's plan doesn't recognize teachers for the work they are already doing. It creates a whole new superstructure of state-mandated evaluations, standardized testing, and merit pay plans that will add more work to every teacher and administrator's day.

Keegan also signed the RL16 "pro" statement on the official ballot information pamphlet with Mitchell superintendent Joe Graves, who continues to get lots of free space in the Mitchell Daily Republic to promote RL16 and his campaign for a cushy job in the state Department of Education. Graves is one of the 3% of school administrators who backed RL 16 when it was House Bill 1234 last winter. Keegan is likely in a similar minority among her colleagues.

Bonus Graphic Critique: Nice hand reaching out of the ground in that logo on the Yes on 16 video. That's RL16: bad policy, disproven by research, but reaching up like an ideological zombie to wreak havoc on our successful K-12 system.