Speaking of South Dakota wages, I continue to gather evidence that South Dakota could afford my moonshot plan to raise our average teacher pay $10,000, to 34th in the nation.

$10,000 may seem like an awful lot of cream on top of the teachers' pie, but this chart from the South Dakota Budget and Policy Institute says we could have done if we loved teachers as much as we love state employees:

SD Budget and Policy Institute: growth of state employee salaries vs teacher salaries, 2000–2013

(click to embiggen!)

South Dakota's average teacher salary: $39,580. South Dakota's hypothetical average teacher salary if we had funded salary increases at the same rate that Governors Janklow, Rounds, and Daugaard gave their employees: $49,189. Difference: $9,609.

Where there's a will, there's a way.