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Gov. Dayton Shows Gov. Daugaard Proper Priorities: Education First!

Governor Dennis Daugaard opens the 2015 Session of the South Dakota Legislature on Tuesday, January 13, with his State of the State Address. Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota delivered his inaugural address Monday in St. Paul, the day before the opening of the Minnesota Legislature.

Governor Daugaard, please plagiarize this speech:

But are all of our students learning what they will need – to find good jobs and achieve success in the world that awaits them? If we’re going to improve people’s lives in our state, we have to improve their educations. We have to create a State of Educational Excellence.

How? By investing in it.

There’s a big difference between spending and investing. Spending is for now. People spend money to buy what they need or want right away.

Investing is for the future. People invest money now to produce future benefits and rewards.

Wise financial management requires understanding this difference. And striking a proper balance between them.

In the coming months, we will make important decisions about spending or investing a projected state budget surplus of one billion dollars. We could spend it to provide goods and services for more people. We could spend it to provide tax cuts for some people.

I recommend that our top priority be to invest it in a better future – first and foremost, by investing it in Excellent Education. This means elevating our citizens’ educations from good to excellent.

And making that educational excellence available to everyone.

...for the sake of our state’s future, I will dedicate the next four years to regaining our state’s position as a national and global leader in education excellence [Governor Mark Dayton, prepared text, second inaugural address, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2015.01.05].

Governor Dayton espouses some policies I oppose, like year-round school. But he's right on target with the principle that education comes first.

Enough with Governor Daugaard's trickle-down fantasy that if we pour our resources into favors for business, someday we'll see economic growth that will translate into more tax dollars to invest in education. That's like going to the racetrack and betting on the horses while telling yourself that if you win, you'll put your winnings back in your IRA. That policy doesn't work. Let's adopt Governor Dayton's philosophy of investing now, investing early, and investing directly in kids, the way government should.


  1. Jenny 2015.01.06

    Cory, may I ask you why you are against year-round schooling? I support it for many reasons. Students lose a lot of what they learn during the summer and kids admit that they get bored with so much time off. I've noticed it's around Oct that kids are finally being taught new stuff. It's all catch up time in Sept.
    I have relatives that teach year round in California and they love the two to three week breaks they get. We need to make the school year longer also. It's not an agricultural society anymore where the youngsters were needed to slave away in the fields. Just my two cents.

  2. Jenny 2015.01.06

    Gov Dayton is one of the most genuine, decent political leaders I have ever met. He is not showy or charismatic, but just a very serious caring person. He ranks right up there with Wellstone as my two favorites, and follows the Wellstone's philosophy about improving people's lives.

  3. Mark Remily 2015.01.06

    In the American news today. ( North Dakota Legislature) Senate minority leader Mac Schneider said "it's the first time in years that the legislature has had to consider the prospect of low oil prices. He said the state must look carefully at spending while making long term investments on such things as education"

  4. Steve Sibson 2015.01.06

    "Gov Dayton is one of the most genuine, decent political leaders I have ever met."

    Jenny, you are being deceived. Dayton and Daugaard are implementing the very same plan in regard to education. Note that Dayton said, "I will dedicate the next four years to regaining our state’s position as a national and global leader in education excellence".

    Now take a careful look at this link Business Roundtable web site and a letter they sent to Reed and McConnell:

    Note the signers of the letter include "Business Coalition for Educational Excellence". Yes, the crony capitalist are the promoting "education excellence", and so is Dayton. One plus one equals two, right.

    Also note "Accenture" also signed the letter. Accenture was the International organization Daugaard used to but together his workforce development plan that is based on a business, education, and government partnership.

    And Cory is wrong in saying Daugaard is not making an investment in education. Daugaard's 2016 General Fund budget for the Dept of Ed is $28 million that was spent in the year ended in 2014. That is a 6.7% increase. And there is still enough money laying around to increase the Dept of Social Services 2016 budget 20% from 2014 actuals.

    So why isn't the money going to teachers? Because it is going into the pockets of crony capitalists and their enablers. And that is also what is going on in Minnesota and in every state of this country.

  5. Jenny 2015.01.06

    Everything is a conspiracy to you, Sibby. I'm surprised you're able to get out of bed everday. You really need to lay off the book of Revelations for awhile.

  6. Steve Sibson 2015.01.06

    Jenny, that is what the ruling elites want you to believe. The truth is their enemy.

  7. leslie 2015.01.06

    why do conservative south dakotan voters celebrate a gala inauguration for daugaard, as it seems an unnecessary expenditure? maybe for legislative newbies, but not for incumbents. "let'em eat cake" sentiment.

    (not directed at troll)

  8. o 2015.01.06

    Jenny, one large problem with year-round school is the infrastructure. Most believe that all our schools are air conditioned; if fact, many are not. Because kids will only be in buildings for a few sweltering weeks at the start or end of school years, most district have opted to not put in the AC for classrooms. Add multi-story heat concentrations and you have legions of blushed-cheek children not getting much learning done.

    Before a discussion of the merits of year-round school can begin, a serious look at our physical ability to meet student health and safety needs has to be undertaken. Then we can discuss our state's willingness to increase districts' funding some 30% for salaries, utilities . . .

    Steve may also be able to shed light on some crony-capitalist-air-conditioning-conspiracy afoot if we should head down exploring year-round school. : )

  9. Steve Sibson 2015.01.06

    If we did have year around school, perhaps the kids would have the time to start reading some of the books I have been researching and get a real education.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.06

    Mark, will the ND minority leader be able to swing their legislature to invest in education in a tightening budget?

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.06

    Sibby, I suspect the $28 million for the Department of Education did little to help teachers teach or students learn. You know that, if you ever sober up and run with me on a gubernatorial fusion ticket, eliminating the state Department of Education will be one of our top priorities.

    And Sibby, I oppose year-round school and want kids to have the summer free specifically so they have the chance to read more books that will give them a real education.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.06

    Jenny, you may ask. I take a reactionary, regressive, moral position, impervious to all empirical evidence and the prevailing wisdom of most education reformers. My parents and my community gave me the joy of three months of unstructured time. I feel a moral obligation to give my child the same opportunity. Whatever curriculum they forget over the summer, children can learn much else going to the lake, roaming town, seeing the country on vacation, visiting the library, and figuring out just what to do with all that daylight.

  13. larry kurtz 2015.01.06

    1) middle schools should be eliminated.
    2) high schools should insist on business casual except on Fridays.
    3) women and men in high school should be instructed in separate classrooms.
    4) school boards should have an elected representative from the high school student population
    5) teachers must be union members
    6) districts should have the flexibility to experiment with curricula, including year-round sessions
    7) American Indian languages should meet the world language requirement

  14. Joan Brown 2015.01.06

    As a former teacher I am in favor or year round schools. I developed that mindset when I was in college and one of my professors lectured on how much kids forget in the three month vacation, and spend the first few weeks in the fall reviewing what they learned in the spring. I can't see that three months off is any better for kids than having a month off for the holidays, a month long spring break, and a month off in the summer. I have heard that there are schools in various states that do this and there are European schools that do it.

  15. Joan Brown 2015.01.06

    I didn't know kids needed air conditioned schools. Kids now seem to be a bunch of babies. When I was in elementary school and high school we didn't have air conditioning and we didn't get out of school early on the really hot days. This included a one room country school, then from 6th grade through 12th in a town school. The high school was on the second and third stories of the building, so you can imagine how hot those classrooms got in the hot weather and some of the class rooms were warmer than others because there were windows on all four sides of the building.

  16. Joan Brown 2015.01.06

    Leslie, I agree with you about the formal inaugral balls, especially when it is the second time around.

  17. JeniW 2015.01.06

    Joan, I appreciate your point. My nieces and nephews attended year round school in California, they were used to it so it was not an issue.

    I am a Baby Boomer kid so you will have an idea of my age.

    I attended summer school at a school in central California. There was no air conditioning at the school. One day during class I got so hot that I started hallucinating that bugs were crawling on my clothes, and I ended up vomiting. I think I just had completed fifth grade. I was sent home, and some poor soul was stuck cleaning up the mess that I upchucked.

    Heat and cold affect each person differently.

  18. SuperSweet 2015.01.06

    Year-round schools don't don't necessarily mean more days of instruction. It usually means the same number of days spread throughout the year and eliminating the long summer breaks when learning can be lost thus improving test scores.

  19. JeniW 2015.01.06

    That is correct SuperSweet. My nieces and nephews attended the required number of hours, if not more. The only difference is that the vacations are staggered throughout the year.

  20. Owen 2015.01.06

    Substitute business for education when Daugaard plagiarizes Dayton's speech.

    " If we did have year around school, perhaps the kids would have the time to start reading some of the books I have been researching and get a real education."

    I'd hate to think the books you'd come up with Steve.

  21. Steve Sibson 2015.01.06

    "You know that, if you ever sober up and run with me on a gubernatorial fusion ticket, eliminating the state Department of Education will be one of our top priorities."

    Interesting Cory. I have been in year-round school for decades, but it is not controlled by the government, and if you folks have been paying attention...the crony capitalists.

  22. Scott 2015.01.06

    I think there are some good reasons for not having classes in the summer. For example many facility construction and maintenance projects take several months to complete so there needs to be 2 to 3 months when the buildings can not be used. Summers are best for most building projects.

    I recently heard that in parts of the country that if there is a snow day, teachers are responsible for providing student assignments and students are responsible for completing assignments on snow days. Rather than having formal classes in the summer, there could be on line classes in the summer. Students could be given a weekly assignments and there could be time set aside for teachers to interact with students through videoconference. There are a lot of ways that education can be completed without students having to go to school in a traditional school building.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.06

    If we can do online classes on snow days and in summer, why not do them for the whole school year? Why require kids to come sit in a building and respond like dogs to bells?

    And hey, why are we coming up with these ideas and not the Governor? What bold vision for investing in education will the Governor give us? Or is he too busy giving more handouts to big business to think about investing in schools?

  24. Steve Sibson 2015.01.07

    Cory, investing in schools is more handouts to big business.

  25. larry kurtz 2015.01.07

    Pick a lane, Sibby: charter schools are all about big business and parochial schools are all about propping up the religion industry.

  26. Steve Sibson 2015.01.07

    Larry, almost everything is about big business, even the Democrats. The problem is the Democrats don't know they are because they are deceived by the Party's propaganda, just like the conservatives in the GOP.

  27. o 2015.01.07

    Steve: "Cory, investing in schools is more handouts to big business."

    I believe that makes me (a teacher) the least profitable "big business" in history.

  28. 96Tears 2015.01.07

    South Dakota is the only state where there is so much enthusiasm among politicians, the press and too many of the public for lowering the bar -- as long as someone gets rich from it.

  29. Steve Sibson 2015.01.07

    Teachers are now the facilitators (slaves).

  30. o 2015.01.07

    96Tears, I disagree: I do not think SD is unique. There is a strong, national backing of the philosophy that profit is the ultimate good (which by extension makes any actions of corporations "good" or "virtuous" as long as they lead to profit). Any taxation under this view is therefore evil because it reduces profit. It is "the business of America is business" taken to the extreme.

    Therein is the distinction of progressive thought that Governor Dayton is drawing: taxes are not evil; they are not spending; they are investment in things we value. As a state, we must first value education (or anything that costs money or requires tax revenue to be sustained); then spending the money to sustain what we value also becomes valuable - a virtuous act.

    That requires a leap in reasoning from where our state stands now.

  31. Wayne Pauli 2015.01.07

    My only comment is that it seems strange to see Dayton and Daugaard surnames in the same headline. They are like AC and DC...acids and bases...pros and and regressive...etc...

  32. Steve Sibson 2015.01.07

    Wayne, the synthesis happens during National Governor Association meetings.

  33. leslie 2015.01.07

    NGA is republican by and large. nyt, wapo, startrib

  34. leslie 2015.01.07

    you should not rely on your internal agenda

  35. Holistic Practitioner 2015.01.07

    Gov Dayton is focused on causes and knows Minnesota's budget as good as anyone in the state. He is the kind of guy that if you ask him what time it is he will tell you how the watch is made. He is passionate about the state and serving the public unlike in South Dakota where those in power think of ways to profit from government.

  36. leslie 2015.01.07


    sib-feb. 2014 NGA meeting roiled by republican partisan acrobatics. Chair Gov. Malloy's (Ok. R.) American Works initiative steered discussion to GOP positions on federal meddleing and effects of over-regulation, popular republican talking points; Gov. Jindal (La. R.) criticized Obama's stance on minimum wage immediately after the association met in the white house ("jindal didn't come to any meetings and shows up here and has the nerve to pull that stuff on everybody" Gov. Malloy, D.); Vice. ch. Sandoval (Nv. R.) sparred over Obamas method of early childhood ed. payments during two presentations on the subject. m. anderson,

    (cuts loop of rope from foot as dragged into abyss)

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