I didn't set out this week to pick on Representative-Elect Lana Greenfield, but her own words are making it clear she will make for easy blogging with her own burbling of GOP propaganda and sloppy thinking.

KELO reports that even Northern State, which produces more new K-12 teachers than any other South Dakota campus, isn't keeping up with market needs:

"It's always difficult to increase the number of majors in the hard-to-find areas," said Connie Geier, NSU School of Education Dean.

With education major numbers overall relatively steady in recent years, Geier wants to see an increase. Numbers vary from year to year, but there are about 20 percent fewer teacher major graduates now than there were 10 to 20 years ago, Geier said.

"We've been larger than this in the past and that would be a healthy growth for us," Geier said.

That could also be healthy growth for education in the state based on information the university receives from schools across South Dakota [Erich Schaffhauser, "NSU Teacher Program Holding Steady, Wants Growth," KELOLand.com, 2014.12.05].

Rep.-Elect Greenfield joins the conversation in the KELO-Facebook comment section, which thrills me. All legislators should be willing to interact with the people they serve in online public forums. If nothing else, such online interaction gives us a chance to swiftly correct our legislators when they are wrong:

When the argument is posed that our teaching graduates are leaving the state for higher pay, it can be countered with this article. There seems to be a lack of interest in going into the teaching field...period. We need to turn this around, but the question is HOW [Lana Greenfield, comment, KELOLand.com, 2014.12.04].

O, Lana, dear Lana. There is nothing in this article that counters the fact that your soon-to-be fellow Republican legislators, including your son Brock, have exacerbated South Dakota's teacher shortage by throttling K-12 funding for decades. It does nothing to counter the fact, to which every superintendent in this state but Joe Graves will attest, that teachers are leaving South Dakota for states that pay more.

This report actually shows another problem with the Legislature's ongoing neglect of education: salaries aren't high enough to keep existing teachers or to entice enough replacements into the field. The last line of the article has Dean Geier telling Greenfield HOW to turn the teacher shortage around [in Schaffhauser's paraphrase]: "increased teacher pay in South Dakota would help draw more students to the profession."

Rep.-Elect Greenfield is apparently so desperate to excuse her party's disresepect of her former profession that she will ignore the prima facie import of a simple news report. Rep.-Elect Greenfield, can you keep up that willful ignorance for two years, or would you like to amend your remarks and your worldview and use your voter-given authority to look for real solutions to South Dakota's teacher shortage?