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First 2014 Legislative Resolutions Admit Schools Lack Resources and Teachers

Early Christmas! The first bills and resolutions are in the hopper for the South Dakota Legislature!

Leading the pack are a couple of resolutions from the Interim Education Funding Formula Study Committee. HCR 1001 exhorts K-12 school districts to keep cooperating with each other to make up for the fact that they "sometimes lack the staff and resources needed to provide students with the course offerings, co-curricular activities, or other educational services or opportunities that are necessary or would serve to enhance the students' learning and educational experiences."

Sometimes? Teacher friends, care to weigh in on the percentage of days when your school can't do everything it should for kids?

HCR 1002 would have the Legislature admit that South Dakota faces a teacher shortage, due to "a variety of reasons including the financial hardships that many school districts have recently endured which caused them to ask teachers to do more with less." HCR 1002 also acknowledges that "the salaries paid to teachers in some surrounding states are significantly higher than the salaries paid to teachers in South Dakota."

Some? Legislators, look at the map and tell me which state doesn't pay teachers significantly more than South Dakota does.

Like most resolutions, HCR 1001 and 1002 are mostly useless exercises in rhetoric. At best, they would put legislators on the record admitting that South Dakota's public schools lack the resources to provide the best education and build the best staffs. The two resolutions carefully avoid pointing out the Legislature's culpability in creating those shortages or its responsibility to fix those shortages. But even these veiled admissions of guilt may be too much for some legislators to stomach.



  1. grudznick 2013.12.23

    This looks to me like the first step by the legislatures in the long overdue consolidation of county seats and school boards. Why must we have so many school boards and fatcat administrators? We don't need that many. One fatcat administrator in Rapid City can easily oversee the schools to the edges of the hills and all the way to Wasta maybe even Wall. You save money on administrator salaries and parking spaces and you give that money to the good teachers.

    Next step, county seats. Then Mexican statehood for the tribes!

  2. Donald Pay 2013.12.24

    Grudz and I agree!!!!

    SD needs to consolidate administration. This has been needed for decades. This doesn't mean shutting down high schools and making students travel even greater distances than they already do in Western SD. That wouldn't necessarily be good, unless it vastly improved academics. But consolidating a lot of the finance, purchasing and similar operations would provide savings that could go to more programs and teacher salaries.

    How it would be done is the tricky part. I'm sure would be opposition to any plan for Rapid City Areas Schools to take over the whole Black Hills area. But there has to be a way to decrease the administrative costs without hurting local pride.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.01

    Supersweet, the comparison of the general attitudes toward soldiers and teachers is instructive.

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