South Dakota loses another job and another family, thanks to Governor Daugaard's budget cuts. Madison High School vocational-agriculture teacher Henry Kraai announced his resignation Friday. His wife Jill Kraai worked as a gifted instructor at Brandon Valley. Her position disappeared, says Madison superintendent Vince Schaefer, due to the state's drastic cuts to K-12 education. Jill has landed a job in Waterloo, Iowa, and Henry, quite sensibly, is going with.
Henry Kraai appeared in these pages back in March, when he appeared at the Madison Central School Board hearing on the defeated new gym and high school renovation plan. He said he really didn't care about the proposed new gym (quite likely the mindset his gym-hungry bosses wished more gym opponents would have adopted). He focused on the difficulties he faced in teaching a class of 35 freshman how to weld when he could only run six welders in his cramped classroom shop. He questioned whether the community was really committed to providing all kids, including his, the opportunities they deserve. he said he and his wife "don't bitch and complain about what we get paid... we're not here to make a million dollars."
But when his wife can't make any dollars here, when her employer is forced by the state to eliminate opportunities for gifted students, Henry Kraai has to do what's best family and leave South Dakota.
Madison High School thus now has a month and a half to find fill that gap with a qualified teacher who will come to our community, not complain about the pay, and make due with Governor Daugaard's permanent new norm of education on a frayed shoestring budget... a budget that just cost South Dakota one more family.