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State Names HB 1234 Education Reform Advisory Committee

We have names for the members of the fourth of six committees authorized by House Bill 1234, Governor Dennis Daugaard's education reform bill. This committee, the Education Reform Advisory Council, arises from an amendment by Senator Russell Olson (R-8/Wentworth), who created this additional bureaucracy to make us think HB 1234 is really about improving South Dakota's public schools rather than destroying them to make way for the digitization and privatization of education.

Here are the 25 SDERAC members and what I can tell you about them (with some best guessing, given that there could indeed be more than one Heath Larson or Dean Christensen in South Dakota):

I'll fill in information on all names as I track it down. Confirmed opponents of HB 1234 on the committee that I can identify include Sen. Bradford, Rep. Lucas, and Arsenault, who led SDEA's petition drive to refer HB 1234. Deutsch called HB 1234 a net harm for schools back in February, but since it passed, I haven't seen him place further opposition on record.

The four Republican legislators on the panel all voted for HB 1234.

HB 1234 charges these committee members with advising on the implementation of HB 1234 discussing the following issues, and reporting thereupon to the Legislature by December 1:

  1. The advantages and disadvantages of initiatives designed to provide for increased compensation for teachers;
  2. Future teaching areas of critical need, and solutions to recruit, retain, and train teachers in these critical need areas; and
  3. Other ideas to improve student achievement.

Keep in mind, the Legislature has appointed this committee and convenes it without any statutory authority. South Dakota laws don't take effect until July 1. Pending verification of the 30,000 petition signatures submitted last week, HB 1234 will likely remain off the books until November... and I'll go out on a limb that my friend LK won't and predict voters will reject HB 1234 on a 65-35 split. If the state spends any public dollars on the SDERAC's meetings, it is spending those dollars without legal authorization. Just something fun to keep in mind, committee members, if your chairperson, Secretary Schopp, hands you a mileage reimbursement form.



  1. Nick Nemec 2012.06.25

    Larry Lucas is running for senate from District 26.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.25

    Thanks, David! I was thinking of the Reps. in District 27; error corrected!

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.25

    And Nick, too! Time for me to memorize the candidates list for both Houses!

  4. grudznick 2012.06.25

    Somebody in the DOED said that the state can spend money the legislatures give on whatever. Just because didn't give the state any money to fund those bonuses don't mean it can't pay bonuses or mile age and motel for these appointed board members from some other pot of money approved by the legislatures, Mr. H.

  5. Donald Pay 2012.06.25

    Sure, they can pay whatever they want out of whatever pot of money they sleazily set aside. This is typical South Dakota sleaze, so they'll see nothing wrong with it. Anyone with ethics would "just say no" and not attend. This is supposed to be about improving education, but what we need are some "leaders" taking a character education.

  6. Owen Reitzel 2012.06.25

    Joe Graves and Tad Parry. look out. I wonder if any of these people against HB1234 will have the courage to stand up to Graves. I hope so.
    And Cory my dad just jumped out his grave when he heard that former Madison School Superintendent James Hansen is on this committee. My dad and him did not get along at all. that's putting is mildly

  7. grudznick 2012.06.25

    Young Mr. Hansen was State Superintendent of Schools back in the day, if my mind recalls correctly. He will be very useful on this powerful committee, and could be the man with his hand on the tiller making needed adjustments. A wise appointment.

  8. Owen Reitzel 2012.06.25

    I think not grudznick. I trust my dad knew what he was talking about

  9. grudznick 2012.06.25

    We are entitled to our opinions all, eh, Mr. Reitzel? I'm know your dad was a swell fellow, but today it is Dr. Hansen's job to serve us all. We must trust his hand.

  10. Michael Black 2012.06.25

    No disrespect to the education and political professionals on the committee...but where are the parents?

  11. grudznick 2012.06.25

    Most of the members of the committee are parents, Mr. Black.

  12. Michael Black 2012.06.25

    They all have a political or professional agenda.

    I like people that have outside perspective.

  13. grudznick 2012.06.25

    I see your point, sir. I'm a parent, with an outside perspective. I may email the Powers that be and see if I could get put on this committee. I believe I would do a swell job.

  14. Jana 2012.06.25

    Let’s hope that the media will be able to sit in and cover the meetings. Better yet, for SDPB to record the sessions, and even better yet…live stream the proceedings.

  15. Troy 2012.06.25


    I assume since you believe your petitions puts HB1234 doesn't justify spending any money on its passage, you also think Obama shouldn't have spent any money on Obamacare pending its determination of its constitutionality. You can't have it both ways.

    Personally, I think it prudent for validly enacted laws to proceed under the assumption it will be upheld until there is a determination from a higher authority. And, if the validly enacted law is overturned by the higher authority, the consequences are as follows:

    The voters can judge the prudence in the case of Obama of passing a law deemed unconstitutional and Dauguaard on spending money on a bill overturned by the voter in context of the total money spent. Let's see $10billion plus vs. $20,000 in travel and staff time. Your guy loses the computation. :)

  16. mike 2012.06.26

    Troy go over to DWC and write a post about Gant and the SOS office. Are you guys not allowed to post about Gant?

    It doesn't have to be any longer than the 3 paragraphs you wrote above.

    Defend him. Even if it's a positive story I want you to cover it so we can see what GOP commenters think.

  17. mike 2012.06.26

    Anyone else notice how grudznick capitolized "Powers that be"? Makes me think Grudz is PP. And the capitol P was a reflex,

  18. LK 2012.06.26


    I hope you're right. I think your numbers may be overly optimistic, but Iwould take 53-47. I want to make sure there's no reason for any recount.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.26

    Troy, no, totally different situations. HB 1234 is being referred to a public vote. Statute explicitly puts any referred law on hold until after the election results are certified. HB 1234 has not been validly enacted. PPACA is subject to judicial review. The court issued no injunction. President Obama and Governor Daugaard are still not only justified in carrying out but obliged to carry out that federal law. If there were some national referendum process, then we could talk analogy.

    Grudz, we are under no obligation to trust Hansen or anyone else on a committee selected by partisan legislators. The proof will be in the pudding.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.26

    And Owen! Thanks for reminding me of that Madison connection! Maybe I can get Hansen to send me some inside info!

  21. Troy 2012.06.26


    I am allowed to write anything I want. For me to write about Gant/Powers, I would need to take time to gather facts about what may have occurred, assess whether it is illegal, improper, or gives the appearance of impropriety/conflict of interest. I don't have time to do that.

    But here is my assessment:

    Nothing illegal occurred. There is no law which prevents Gant from endorsing whoever he wants and nothing prevents Pat from having a side business.

    Nothing improper occurred. Gant's public endorsements is no different from the reality he has preferences (any SOS would regardless of party and he can still execute his sworn duties. Same with Pat selling items on the web (if he did. I have no idea of the facts).

    Regarding an appearance of conflict, I definitely see nothing wrong with regard to Gant. He had a preference and he voiced it publicly. So what? I'd say the same thing if he had endorsed Begalka or even a Democrat. In my opinion, Pat had a lapse of judgment from which he has learned since the "store" is closed. Pat was naive if he thought his former life as a blogger would make him a target from his enemies and his new life would require him to live under an expecially high standard. I understand his former life as a realtor and entrepreneurial spirit wouldn't consider how his side activities might be percieved.

    Of course my views could change if I learn different facts.

  22. mike 2012.06.26

    Fair enough.

  23. Troy Jones 2012.06.26

    Cory, the lack of injunction only matters on one thing. If there were no injunction, BO could do nothing. Being under judicial review means he can choose to proceed to plan for implementation (which occurs 2014 if SCOTUS upholds). Same with DD. He can choose to proceed for post November implementation (which occurs if people uphold).

    It would be be a deriliction of duty if either presumed it was not going to be upheld, if for no reason lawsuits and referendum cannot become means to delay just for the sake of delaying.

    We already had this conversation once and you came around. Your over-riding anti-1234 bias keeps you from even being rational with yourself.

  24. Donald Pay 2012.06.26

    HB 1234 is not law. Period. Under what authority is money being spent? Simply question. If it's some pot of money or some other authority, then identify what it is. Otherwise this thing is totally illegal.

  25. Owen Reitzel 2012.06.26

    "We are entitled to our opinions all, eh, Mr. Reitzel? I’m know your dad was a swell fellow, but today it is Dr. Hansen’s job to serve us all. We must trust his hand."
    Trust him grudznic? Like we're supposed to trust our Governor?
    I don't think so. But we'll see. And yes you are entitled to your opinion.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.26

    No, Troy, it's still different. You're talking about preparing for implementation. I might live with that. But naming and convening the SDERAC is implementation, not preparation therefor, and the law permitting that act of implementation is not law. President Obama has implemented PPACA as law, because it is law, and no injunction has been filed to stop implementation.

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