Madville Times readers share my concern about the need for more funding for education. There are numerous ways to increase that funding, such as the current HB 1003, which sets the minimum annual K-12 funding increase at 2%, and HB 1004, which timidly restores the per-student K-12 funding allocation to what it was in 2010.

Given the current scrutiny of the state's economic development programs, how about a small gesture to recognize that investment in education is essential to growing our economy? Based on your suggestions, for your consideration, I offer a plan to require the state to invest one dollar in K-12 education and one dollar in higher education for every dollar it hands out in corporate welfare.

Madville Times Bill 104

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to couple economic development with investment in education.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

Section 1: For every dollar disbursed by the Governor's Office of Economic Development as a grant to any business, economic development corporation, local government, or other entity, the Governor's Office of Economic Development shall disburse one dollar in economic development match funds  to the Department of Education. The Department of Education shall disburse any GOED moneys received under this statute to all K-12 school districts in South Dakota, in amounts proportionate to each school district's monthly state aid payment.

Section 2: K-12 school districts may use economic development match funds for salary bonuses for certified teaching staff, professional development activities, and/or purchase of instructional materials and/or classroom supplies.

Section 3: For every dollar disbursed by the Governor's Office of Economic Development as a grant to any business, economic development corporation, local government, or other entity, the Governor's Office of Economic Development shall disburse one dollar in economic development match funds to the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents  shall disburse any GOED moneys received under this statute to each Regental institution each month, in amounts proportionate to each school's operating budget for that fiscal year.

Section 4: Regental institutions may use economic development match funds for salary bonuses for teaching and research staff, professional development activities, and/or tuition relief for the upcoming semester.