The summary of Governor Daugaard's recommended budget changes for Fiscal Year 2016 includes the following graphs comparing the growth in total state expenditures over the last ten years and the growth in certain spending subsets. These graphs show that Governor Daugaard has made education bear a greater portion of his budget cutting than other areas.

State Aid to Schools FY2006–FY2016 (proposed)

From FY 2006 to FY 2011, state aid to education grew a little more than overall state spending. Governor Mike Rounds and the Legislature made education more of a budgetary priority than other areas of the budget. In FY 2012, Governor Daugaard hacked education back almost to its FY 2006 level while increasing total state spending. Governor Daugaard and the Legislature have found enough money to raise total spend spending nearly 40% higher than the FY 2006 level, but they have throttled education to an increase of about 25%.

Now compare the curves for other areas of the budget where Governor Daugaard proposes major changes this year: Health and Human Services FY2006–FY2016 (proposed)

Health and human services have grown faster than the rest of the budget and remain above the total curve by about 30 percentage points.Corrections FY2006–FY2016 (proposed)

We've found the political will to increase corrections spending right in line with overall spending.Ag, DENR, GF&P FY2006–FY2016 (proposed)

Agriculture, natural resources, and Game Fish & Parks get bounced all over the place. Daugaard has consistently cut those budgets and will drop them almost back to FY 2006 and FY 2011 level. But notice that amidst the FY 2012 chainsaw massacre he had to undertake to fix the structural deficit Mike Rounds left him, Governor Daugaard managed to raise Ag/DENR/GF&P spending 50%. UJS, Legis, Elected Officials FY2006–FY2016 (proposed)

The courts, the Legislature, and other elected state offices have managed to stay mostly above the growth curve. The FY 2012 cuts only sliced off Rounds-era fat and brought their increases back in line with overall increases.Remainder of State Government FY2006–FY2016 (proposed)

"Other" got the snot knocked out of it during the last half of the Rounds era. Budget growth is sporadic under Governor Daugaard, but notice that here as in Ag/DENR/GF&P, when everything else was getting cut, the Governor and the Legislature still swung a 50-point increase for this area and restored "Other" funding growth to the overall growth rate. In FY 2014, they mustered an 80-point increase.

A multitude of conditions may justify different growth rates for different budget areas. The point these charts make is that when we want to set priorities, South Dakota is able to find funds to support those priorities. In all five of his budgets, Governor Daugaard has said education is not a priority.