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Tyler Opposes Build Dakota Scholarship

Republicans most likely went looking for a constitutional excuse to can Kathy Tyler because of her outspoken criticism of the EB-5 scandal brought to us by the Rounds-Daugaard regime. But Republicans probably also don't like the former Milbank legislator's criticism of the current administration's only noteworthy education initiative, the Build Dakota Scholarship for vo-tech students:

Why should we as a state fund a student’s entire post-secondary education so that he or she can get a job for a private company? Yes, there is the three year, stay in South Dakota caveat, but is it a state’s job to train workers for private companies? I don’t think so. We don’t pay to train state employees and we certainly don’t offer scholarship programs to them. And I won’t even start on the teacher shortage [Kathy Tyler, "Build Dakota Scholarship," Kathy's Corner, 2015.01.05].

Tyler raises a good question for our legislators to debate: is this subsidy for workforce training really within the proper role of state government. The Build Dakota Scholarship serves to support the low-wage system that is the root cause of the workforce problem. It targets education that does not offer the highest chances for full-time employment. As Tyler suggests, it seems a bit drop-in-the-buckety compared to other pressing education and workforce needs in the state.

Tyler also catches a whiff of partisan selectivity in Republican support for this scholarship plan:

The Build Dakota Scholarship applies to certain programs at certain technical institutions. These programs train students in high-need workforce areas. There will be 300 full ride scholarships for five years and then 50 per year. The full ride scholarship is open to resident and non-resident students. I have to smile at that. Last year, I sponsored a bill to allow out-of-state students who attend South Dakota high schools to be eligible for the $1000 per year Opportunity Scholarship given to top high school seniors. It didn’t pass. It must have been the letter behind my name [Tyler, 2015.01.15].

Tyler refers to her 2014 House Bill 1078. This partial scholarship would have had to have recruited several hundred high-achieving non-resident students to cost as much as the full-ride Build Dakota Scholarship. Tyler pushed her bill through three votes before the full Senate finally killed it. Every vote against the bill was Republican.

Reaching for my lemonade squeezer, I notice that, in this blog post written before session started, Tyler noted that she would have to stay mum on political issues once she took her position as a state employee. The good side, then, of Speaker Wink kicking Tyler out of the House Dems' caucus secretary job is that we can hear more of her observations and analysis on Legislative matters like the Build Dakota Scholarship. Keep speaking up, Kathy!


  1. mike from iowa 2015.01.18

    State training workers for private employers sounds like a clear conflict of interest. But then who understands the thought process of a wingnut's mind?

  2. CLCJM 2015.01.18

    The hypocrisy is riding high!

  3. Nick Nemec 2015.01.18

    I hope Kathy, now freed to comment, spends the session in Pierre and freely shares her opinion on everything happening.

  4. Jake Cummings 2015.01.18

    I believe Kathy raises interesting questions concerning Build Dakota (and I agree with her stance); however, I must admit that when I worked for the state, they did pay for specialized training that I received on MS Access, etc.

    In addition, I think Republicans, in particular Gov. Daugaard's boosters, would say that they also made a substantial education investment using the CTE grants in 2014. I believe we could also question the prudence and utility of those investments, given their selective nature and limited scope. Nevertheless, the funds were allocated.

  5. leslie 2015.01.18

    way to go Kathy!! selective investment is the key. selective means what republican employer constituent needs trained employees "for free" (as the wilburys sing). I have been saying and wondering about this for awhile. I think we are talking about a future democratic secretary of state. a wismer/tyler ticket!! two smart, smart women!!

  6. bearcreekbat 2015.01.18

    The majority party's willingness to use some tax dollars to help fund any educational program seems to be progress. While arguments about the choices of which programs to fund continue, the actual funding one such program seems to eliminate the extreme-right/libertarian objection against ever funding an educational program.

    That said, I would like to see Tyler use her mind and talents to advance educational priorities rather than criticize the few positive steps that have been proposed. And I can't see why it should matter whether a young person uses his or her education to work for either public or private entities, as either way these young people become positive contributing members of society, which I would classify as an "intrinsic good," worthy of support with our tax revenue.

  7. Jake Cummings 2015.01.18

    Bear, I think that some object to the fact that the business community, and often the right, espouses a belief that if an initiative is worthwhile, "the market will bear it" (e.g., renewable energy). Yet, they choose to invest in areas with what seems to be minimal effort to spur accompanying industry investment.

    True, Sanford did make an investment in education (and Daugaard did award the CTE grants), but how sustainable is it to rely on such efforts? Now, if research demonstrates a favorable ROI on Sanford's initial investment, and that is used to compel expanded industry investment in education, then I would say it was highly beneficial. Conversely, I would argue it would be ill advised for the state to chose to merely rely on those periodic donations without researching their returns.

  8. Mike B 2015.01.18

    First of all, ANY more money we can get for post secondary education is a GOOD thing. As a parent of a college student, I see how much it costs to go to school these days. This could be an excellent program for many students to have opportunity.

    Corey you should be ASHAMED of such a belief. You want good jobs for SD students, then we need money to pay for education. SD taxpayers should take care of our own FIRST. Why should we educate out of state students at the cost of our own kids?

    Corey there is a great need for education beyond just a liberal arts one. We can all learn to appreciate art, music and culture but someone has to roll up their sleeves and do skilled manual labor.

    BTW - The state has NO business supplying either of the parties a caucus secretary.

  9. Owen 2015.01.18

    "Corey there is a great need for education beyond just a liberal arts one. We can all learn to appreciate art, music and culture but someone has to roll up their sleeves and do skilled manual labor."
    If a young person wants to do a skilled labor job that's great but what if a student wants to into music or history or philosophy? Tell them "no" you have to be a welder? I don't think so Mike B.

    How about the teachers that educate these kids? Shouldn't we start to keep our best teachers ?

    Maybe you should be ashamed Mile B?

  10. Nick Nemec 2015.01.18

    Unless employers raise the wages they pay to competitive rates this program is doomed to failure. It will produce young 20 year old grads with a technical education, in three years when their period of indentureship is over they will be 23 year olds with a technical education and three years experience, exactly what employers want, and in other states are willing to pay to get.

  11. JeniW 2015.01.18

    Nick, if employers are not making enough profit, how can they raise wages?

    It cost money to own/run a business, including a facility or office space, liability insurance, utilities, supplies, and etc. Plus owners need to be able to provide for themselves and their families.

    Increasing wages would be great, but maybe for some businesses it just not feasible.

    If a business owner in MN is making more of a profit than a business owner in SD who is in the same business, the owner in MN is going to be able to pay more than than the SD owner.

    To increase profit, that would mean increasing prices, and/or have an increase in number of paying customers.

    Business owners also have to deal with loss of profits when customers do not pay.

    Not all business owners are rolling in heaps of money and refusing to share.

  12. mikeyc, that's me! 2015.01.18

    "The world needs ditch diggers too."
    -Judge Smails (Caddy Shack)

  13. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.18

    "Indentureship". That is exactly what the program does Nick, a great word to use.

    If employers continue to pay just over minimum wage, these graduates will leave the state in a heartbeat.

  14. Nick Nemec 2015.01.18

    JeniW, I'm just stating economic reality, industry as a whole doesn't care if one actor can't compete, in fact the rest of the industry would gladly see weaker competitors shrivel and die. If the businesses that are benefiting from these tech educated, indentured 20 somethings aren't paying them competitive wages within three years, they will move on. Technical education, three years experience, no student debt, and competitors out of state who are more than willing to hire the competition's experienced help, the kids will be in the driver's seat. If SD employers are unwilling to play on the ball field maybe they will convince future governors to continue to fund their training program for out of state industry.

  15. Jana 2015.01.18

    With all of the grandstanding coming out of the Governor's office on workforce development, he has yet to talk about why we find ourselves in this situation.

    Could it be lack of stability? (See Trail King Layoffs of welders that we then turn around and spend $5M trying to recruit new ones.)

    Lack of unions and collective bargaining?

    Possibly stagnant or declining wages? (Take a quick peak at what employers are paying for welders and plumbers with experience on the department of labor website. Some are starting as low as $10 per hour! Most are in the $12 to $13 range.)

    Quality of life choices?

    Simply throwing money at it won't work...right? I mean that is the argument about spending money on education...right?

    After all, isn't one of the core beliefs of the GOP that the government can't and shouldn't create jobs?

    Amazing for them to just spit in the face of the free market.

  16. tara volesky 2015.01.18

    We have SD Job Service and dozens of private employment agencies, and what do the Crony Corruptionists do, contract with Manpower. It was an inside job because one of the top internet agencies, Indeed Jobs never even heard of them, and they told me people can just click on and the welding jobs will pop up. 25 cents a hit. It is a lot cheaper than paying 5 million dollars to Manpower. Did you know there was a lawsuit, but the private employment agencies were intimidated and threatened. So you tell me, who was the Daugaard man responsible in getting the Manpower contract.'s to easy. You could have nailed them on that one. There was all kind of legal information. Take up the cause, because you have the power. Time to fight for the little guy.

  17. grudznick 2015.01.18

    Young Ms. Tyler, who seemed to be almost silent on all issues until she became the most ineffective pit bull for the most ineffective runner for Governor in state history, will probably get more and more vociphying as things go on. But gentlemen and ladies, we have a public service announcement for you. Contrary to claims by some members of the public, the SDDP is dead.

  18. grudznick 2015.01.18

    Ms. Volesky, if you know of a job where I can make two bits a button push would you email me at the address Ron has for me?

  19. tara volesky 2015.01.18

    Yes they are Grudz, but I believe in life after death.

  20. grudznick 2015.01.18

    So does Mr. Howie, Ms. Volesky. So does Mr. Howie.

  21. Mike B 2015.01.18

    Owen I have no reason to be ashamed. On the other hand we have the man in charge of this blog telling us that extra money for vocational education should be given to out of state students instead.

    Take care of your own FIRST.
    I am for education period.

  22. leslie 2015.01.18

    grudz. public service aint what you spin

  23. Mike B 2015.01.18

    I suggest that those against spending money for vocational education read this article from Mike Rowe.

    Why "Work Smart, Not Hard" is the Worst Advice in the World

    "Today student loans eclipse $1 trillion. There's high unemployment among recent college graduates, and most graduates with jobs are not even working in their field of study. And we have a skills gap. At last count, 3 million jobs are currently available that either no one can do, or no one seems to want. How crazy is that? "

  24. JeniW 2015.01.18

    IMO, the concept/program is a gamble, with high probability of losing much of the gambled amount.

    The concept, if I understand correctly, is based on DD trying to attract businesses in SD to expand, or businesses moving to SD. The argument was the reason why businesses will not expand, or move into SD, is the lack of trained labor force.

    So, the effort is to increase the trained labor force, which could be good, but there is no guarantee that even with the increased labor force that businesses will expand or move into SD.

    Its is a gamble. A few might win, but I am thinking that the loss will be greater than the gain.

  25. grudznick 2015.01.18

    Ms. leslie, most people blame Ms. Tyler for the biggest whuppin ever tukin here in South Dakota, suffered by that pretty young woman Susan Wismer who had no idea going in she would be destroyed so badly. I only hope her psychic cosmos can recover.

  26. JeniW 2015.01.18

    Grudzie, in your opinion the SDDP is dead, I disagree, but your opinion is what your opinion is.

    Have you ever seen a forest after a major fire? Dead trees, injured trees, dead plant life, dead wildlife, it all looks hopeless. But it does not take long for new trees to start to grow, the injured trees grow new bark and leaves to develop, plant life starts to sprout, and animals make the area their shelter.

    SDDP could be like the burnt forest, but there will be new growth and new hope.

  27. leslie 2015.01.18

    nonsense. wismer, w/timely, transparent info, could have cleaned yer (parties) clock. except for what kathy disclosed, rounds, daugaard, jackley, tidemann, GOAC, GOED, NSU, Regents delayed, confused, and obstructed the election. like what you do here.

  28. grudznick 2015.01.18

    I know it angers you, Ms. Jeni. It takes 80 years for a catastrophic burn to recover. Just look at some of the torchings in our own Black Hills, if you are from South Dakota, and you will see that 1988 burn still sprouting no seedlings.

    And this Ms. Jeni, has been a catastrophic burn. There were no slurry bombers to help, there were no crews on the ground who knew what they were doing. This was a full on torching.

  29. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.18

    Oh Grudz, it depends on where the burn is. The Westbury Trails Fire in the late 1980s on Nemo Road is still very apparent. If that fire had happened near my internship site in Washington state you couldn't find it now. Most places are in between.

    JeniW said, "The argument was the reason why businesses will not expand, or move into SD, is the lack of trained labor force."

    That argument is only a little correct. Businesses don't want to set up shop in a state with a government so heavily corrupt. Their upper level employees don't want to move to such a repressive state. They tend to avoid states that are so cold unless there is a very compelling reason.

  30. grudznick 2015.01.18

    The SDDP is dead, Ms. Geelsdottir. A proper fellow would breaking it to you more gently and with more stamina. But I wanted to get right to the point with you.

  31. Jake Cummings 2015.01.18

    Deb, I wish your argument regarding the detrimental impacts of corruption on private industry activity were completely correct; however, studies have shown that the opposite is true. For instance, a June 2014 article in Public Administration Review entitled "The Impact of Public Officials' Corruption on the Size and Allocation of U.S. State Spending" found that some industries (e.g., construction) are characterized by elevated corruption levels. The rationale is that industries like construction involve complex, nonstandard activities, making it difficult to assess quality; industries are dominated by monopolization; and such industries are closely linked to government. Side note -- doesn't that make you think of good ol' pipelines/oil?

    In case you were wondering why I even read that article, it was because SD was ranked in the top 10 for levels of public officials' corruption.

  32. JeniW 2015.01.18

    Deb, I agree with you.

    Gov. Daugaard, I think made that argument, and is willing the gamble the revenue to try to do it.

    As far as I know, he has not garnered any contracts or guarantees that businesses in SD will expand, or that new industry will come to SD.

  33. JeniW 2015.01.18

    Grudzie, I am not angry, but you yourself wrote that it takes "80 years for a catastrophic burn to recover." That tells me that it is possible that SDDP will recover.

    You may not wish for it to happen, and it could take a long time, but it can happen. :)

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    Mike B: on taking care of our own first, reread Tyler's essay. She points out that the Build Dakota Scholarship is open to resident and non-resident students alike, so it is not putting "our own" first. Her legislation last year would have made the Opportunity Scholarship available to resident and non-resident students in neighboring states alike. She was not trying to put non-residents at an advantage over residents; her bill set the same priorities as the BSD (actually, the BSD may be open to all non-residents, not just those in bordering states, so arguably, Tyler's bill focused more on people closer to "our own" than the BSD). Her main point is that anyone flipping out over her bill giving too much help to outsiders should be flipping out to at least the same extent over the vo-tech scholarship, which is giving non-residents a much sweeter deal than the Opportunity Scholarship.

    Both Tyler's bill and BSD do serve our self-interest in recruiting talent from elsewhere to come to South Dakota, study, spend money, and maybe get hooked and move here permanently.

  35. Troy 2015.01.19

    I think Tyler should be given a position of being a prominent spokesperson for SDDP and her idea should be pursued with aggressive vigor.

  36. Tim 2015.01.19

    "and maybe get hooked and move here permanently."
    Stranded here by poor wages and the inability to save enough to get out would be more the case I would say. If I knew 27 years ago what I know now, there is no way in hell anybody could get me to move here.

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    I feel your pain, Tim. I'm not saying I support the BSD or South Dakota's low wages; I'm just saying Mike B's critique above doesn't make sense, since the BSD operates on the same "hook" philosophy as the OS.

  38. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Republicans are masters at feigning frugality during elections then load the basement with coal afterwards: why voters fall for this brand of smoke blown up their assets remains a mystery.

  39. leslie 2015.01.19

    dear grudz, troy-obstruct madville. love dennis daugaard

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