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Sly Vaguely Accuses School, Teachers, Neighbors of Hurting Rapid City K-12 Budget

When Bob Mercer calls something a "must-read," I usually believe him. But this time, when he urgently directs us to read Rep. Jacqueline Sly's (R-33/Rapid City) "wise words" on the challenges of funding education, he wastes my time. The House Education chair offers thirty sentences of no useful informational content and one sentence of unsupported blame. Here's the only sentence that matters:

In the past, actions to address the fiscal situation of the district have been delayed by the school board, administration, staff and the community because tough decisions have been derailed by emotional pleas [Rep. Jacqueline Sly, "Many Responsible for Schools' Budget Woes," Raid City Journal, 2015.01.17].

The rest of the essay is a vague meander through admin-speak about leaders proposing plans and irresponsible "public, media and staff" asking questions and attacking the leader instead of getting on board and being part of the solution. Rep. Sly uses no names, gives no examples, does nothing to tie the blame she wants to level on everyone but herself and her Legislative colleagues to any specific leader, any specific plan, any specific funding amounts, or any specific public discussions that have turned into tar-and-feather sessions. Rep. Sly simply fabricates a world that makes her feel better for serving a Governor who sets budget parameters in which the teacher shortage gets worse and school boards struggle to meet their basic needs.

Rep. Sly's vague rhetoric aligns with the standard South Dakota Republican blame deflection in its war on public education. Republicans pretend that 2012's House Bill 1234 was a good plan for education, that we mean and selfish teachers destroyed that plan by referring it to a public vote and never proposed a viable plan of our own, and that the Governor and the Republican Legislature are thus excused from making any further effort to raise teacher salaries and save our public schools. Blame teachers, blame the schools, and let them sink.

Instead of sly insults, I eagerly await real wise words on education from our Legislature this session.


  1. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Reading Sly's comments almost caused coffee to come through my nose. Rapid City is a failure by nearly every measure. Recall that Stan Adelstein routinely but quietly bails out music education

  2. Jenny 2015.01.19

    It's like she's totally ticked off at certain people in her district, teachers probably, and is ranting about them in the article without giving names.

  3. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    Public education, and the rest of big government, is designed by and is for the already wealthy. Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    Yet they keep electing her. How many times can the SDGOP kick us in the pants before we stop rewarding their abuse?

  5. mike from iowa 2015.01.19

    Be a good time for a letter to the editor from you explaining why and how wingnuts have facilitated and prolonged the problems in South Dakota's schools. This should be a crusade across the entire state.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    Sibby's comment is as vague, ideological, dodgy, and useless as Sly's.

  7. Troy 2015.01.19

    I have always held to the principle, if I can't convince someone to adopt my view, the cause is one of the following:

    1) I haven't established myself as credible on the issue.
    2) I did a poor job of explaining the merits, oftentimes speaking from my perspective and not their perspective.
    3) The facts and situation is not as I see it, thus I need to rethink my position
    4) The person I'm trying to convince has bias' or experiences or learning (usually lack thereof) making it difficult to grasp what I'm advocating
    5) A combination of the above.

    Notice that 3/4 of the problem is mine. The point: If you aren't successful, you might look at yourself before you look at others. Blaming everyone else is just proof of #1 and who gets convinced by someone who isn't credible?

  8. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Troy pounds the Governor's Club up Madville's assets once again. Hubris is the hammer while truth is the nail.

  9. o 2015.01.19

    I choose to focus on another section of Rep. Sly's remarks:

    "Another leader (or maybe the same leader) may lead by letting employees and citizens get involved in the process of addressing a challenge. That leader may bring together different parts of the organization to share the challenge and seek suggestions for solutions. The different groups affected by decisions can become part of the solution by banding together, working toward solving the challenge."

    To me this is an invitation to the stakeholders in RC (and maybe the whole state) to get into a real discussion with at least this representative. Too often I have to agree that we do not put ALL the relevant people at the table for education policy discussion. Our legislators need to hear about the value of education programs in our schools first-hand and in that light maybe some purse strings loosen (an I mean a real sit-down discussion, not a cracker barrel firing squad)- or maybe there will be some things we as schools need to let go because the reality is that there is inadequate support for them in a world of competing needs. Can we at least take this as an invitation to put everyone together to have the talk?

  10. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    "Sibby's comment is as vague, ideological, dodgy, and useless as Sly's."

    It is the truth, and it explains why teachers are getting the shaft, just like the rest of us. It is also what we must understand if we have any chance of fixing the problem.

    Sly is only partly right, but fundamentally wrong. Taking down HB1234 is not the problem. Not following through after we took it down is our fault. Common Core, Daugaard's workforce development agenda, and now Sanford's public/private partnership is a continuation of the business rulers continuing their agenda. The result is not only redistribution of the wealth from us to them, but it is also a redistribution of power in the same direction.

  11. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    "Can we at least take this as an invitation to put everyone together to have the talk?"

    That is exactly how we got into this mess. Example...workforce development summits. These were propaganda programs that used the Delphi method to make it look like we all came together and found the solution, which was actually what the rulers wanted implemented before the meetings began. And that was collaboration between business, education, and government. Simply more of the same socialism that was started in the 1930's.

  12. o 2015.01.19

    Steve said, "Not following through after we took it down is our fault."

    I have to disagree on the premise. One of the most important successes from the 1234 defeat was the new State Evaluation model and pilot. The SDEA together with the DOE (and administrators and school board members) put aside political anger and worked together to create an evaluation tool that focuses on best teaching practices and individualized, teacher-driven accountability. Unfortunately cooperation doesn't get headlines like conflict does, and this follow through/ success is a well-kept public education secret in SD.

  13. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    A Sibson school district would deny the Anthropocene, ignore human sexuality, teach creationism, extol the extirpation of American Indians, praise slavery, glorify the supernatural and applaud paternalism.

  14. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    " The SDEA together with the DOE (and administrators and school board members)"

    I understand that. At the time I told the SDEA not to trust the DOE. They did not listen, and that is why the teacher issue has gotten worse, not better. That also shows that they already "put everyone together to have the talk". Sly is carrying water for the DOE. That is obvious based on my own observations while in Pierre over the last couple of years.

    With the continuation of "coming together", the business/education/government alliance will only strengthen and give less power to the working class taxpayers, which include teachers.

  15. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    Larry, that is exactly what the ruling elites want you to believe. That is how you, the SDEA, and the Democratic Party are being duped into supporting the crony capitalist's control of education. It is an old strategy called divide and conquer.

  16. tara volesky 2015.01.19

    If you want great teachers, appreciate them and quit treating them like second class citizens. School board members should be listening to the teachers instead of Superintendents. That's why SB's have a rubberstamp reputation. Most of them are handpicked by the Superintendents.

  17. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Sibson, the ruling elites have zero impact in my world.

  18. tara volesky 2015.01.19

    Agree with you 100% Sibby and if Teachers could speak out without fear of getting fired, they would agree with you too. Unfortunately the D and R Party elites listen to the Educational elites instead of the teachers who have the greatest impact on our children.

  19. JeniW 2015.01.19

    Are not the School Board members elected?

    I can believe that the Superintendents recruit potential Board Members, but at least in Sioux Falls the School Board members are elected.

    Voter turn-out for School Board members is very low, which tells us that the general population does not view education and/or Board Members as important enough.

    Does the Mitchell Superintendent in Mitchell appoint School Board members?

  20. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    JeniW, how many voters actually track what their School Board members are doing? And as you say, most voters don't turn out. So yes, it is the citizens fault that the crony capitalists have taken over education and their children so that they can grow up and be good global citizens who are willing to become human capital for the corporatists.

    The legislators, such as Sly, are also elected. How many voters are tracking their votes? I give credit to those of you who frequent this blog to find out. But what a percentage of the voting population are you?

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    Larry, turn down your auto-responder on Troy: he's actually making a point that could be read as a critique of Rep. Sly's vague finger-pointing.

  22. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Troy is part of the ruling elite: why he should be exempt from criticism remains a mystery.

  23. JeniW 2015.01.19

    Steve S., as I have mentioned elsewhere, it is the parents who need to be the force behind changing the school system.

    I could be wrong, as I have said before, it appears that as long as their children are going to school, and are doing reasonably well in their academic development, parents are unable/unwilling to get involved in the educational system.

    Until the parents start becoming more active, the education system and funding system will remain the same as it is now.

    The question is how do we, if at all, should get parents involved?

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    O, I agree that Rep. Sly's vague statements leave plenty of room for us to read them as an open invitation to participate in real discussion about real solutions. I will be happy to see Rep. Sly's constitutents hold her to that invitation.

    However, the blame Rep. Sly lays in her statements seems to align with the shoulder-shrugging, buck-passing, and teacher-blaming that Rep. Sly's fellow Republicans have trademarked.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    I do not exempt Troy from criticism. However, I find your automatic and seemingly unthinking attack on his person, seemingly unrelated to the substance of his comment, unproductive.

    If you want to criticize Troy, let's pin him down on his meaning first: Troy, are you saying that Rep. Sly's essay appears to blame others for problems for which she should take responsibility and thus undermines her credibility?

  26. tara volesky 2015.01.19

    JenniW, currently 2 have been appointed, but you're right, people don't care or pay attention to education. It doesn't help that the media is part of the problem that enables the crony capitalists to control our education.

  27. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    "The question is how do we, if at all, should get parents involved?"

    JeniW, after the indoctrination they received while attending public schools, and reinforced by the media and entertainment corporatists, are reversed. How can that happen? It takes money. Money we don't have. Money the ruling elite do have.

    But for the few of us who have been exposed to the truth. We can start correcting things by stop fighting as partisan party activists. So, my intentions in coming here should be less about picking a fight, but more about exposing the truth and then offer an olive branch. Sorry when I don't do that well. I am still learning.

  28. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Cory: Troy is a hypocrite who justifies his positions with ties and tithes to a cabal of criminals covering up a century and a half of crimes both genocidal and ecological: his positions on any subject are simply not credible.

  29. David Newquist 2015.01.19

    Since Aristotle, at least, we've had a definition of literacy, which is to use language with coherence and substance, not merely avoid SPUG (spelling, punctuation, and grammar) errors. It is disconcerting that someone in the writing business would find words of wisdom in Sly's verbal doddering. But our attention is called to the level of thought and articulation possessed by the chair of the education committee. So much of the attitudes toward education is revealed in those words.

  30. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    It is equally mysterious that Mr. Fleming has chosen to qualify DWC's credibility by adding to those pricks clicks.

  31. Troy 2015.01.19

    I read her missive is that too often we make the path of least resistance the only option for our local educations leaders like to blame Pierre for not sending enough money or the feds for having too many rules.

    In the meantime, nobody in the locality (leaders, parents, teachers) is dealing with the issues they can fix, optimize, or mitigate. Local divisions are getting more entrenched. Frustration and anger become the attitude of the day.

    I don't think Sly was saying don't hold her accountable for what she does or doesn't do, question her, push her, etc. but was saying "be sure to have your house in order as well" (See #1 above). Otherwise, you are just too easy to ignore, making a lack of improvement pre-ordained.

    Rightly or wrongly, a local district perceived as not properly budgeting and handling their affairs is not going to be credible with a request for more funding from Pierre.

    I live in one of the highest growth, highest taxed school districts in the state. There are a lot of disagreement I have with the priorities of my district and the decisions they make but, even with the high expenditure/taxation, in general, I think the district is well-run. With the exception of Tea, I think the best within 50 miles of my district.

    Why are we well-run in my mind? We have vigorous debate and then once decisions get made, it seems people pull together to make the decision turn-out as good as possible.

  32. Troy 2015.01.19

    And, we don't sit around waiting for Pierre or DC to come to the rescue.

  33. JeniW 2015.01.19

    Steve S., exposing the truth as we see it, is expressing an opinion.

    Expressing opinions in different formats, whether it is here, LTE, e-mails to the legislators and etc. is fairly easy.

    The question is how to get parents more active in the system with what resources are available. Does Mitchell have something like the Parent Teacher Association (PTA?)

  34. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Sly is a Protestant hence Troy's rejection of her premise.

  35. Troy 2015.01.19


    I don't reject her premise. I support it. I agree with Mercer- must read.

    Your visceral need to react and disparage anything I say has caused you to not even get what I'm saying.

  36. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    "And, we don't sit around waiting for Pierre or DC to come to the rescue."

    That is because Sioux Falls control Pierre and DC controls cities like Sioux Falls. When will the state of South Dakota be renamed Sanford, the Premier state?

  37. Bill Fleming 2015.01.19

    Seems like everything's a mystery to you Mr. Kurtz. That makes you either a deep thinker or a non-thinker. Which is it?

  38. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    I have been reminded of the boulders in my stream of consciousness by much deeper thinkers that those who haunt DWC, Bill.

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    All right, Troy and Larry, you two just settle it with pistols and twenty paces.

    Thank you, Troy, for your clarification. Thinking that you might be supporting my critique of Rep. Sly was just too hopeful to be true.

    Part of the problem is that we are left wondering just what Sly is talking about. She gives us no examples of good plans that leaders have offered. She doesn't even make clear which leaders she's talking about (Daugaard? herself? other legislators? the school board president? the superintendent?). She does not make clear what "tough decisions" have been put off or what "emotional pleas" have done the off-putting. And from this vague accusation, who is to say that those pleas she tries to dismiss as "emotional" weren't actually pretty reasonable, but supplemented with emotion because parents and teachers saw policymakers threatening their schools and their kids with really bad policy?

  40. Troy 2015.01.19

    Cory, I agree it can be taken as a "vague accusation" because it is a fine line between that and a gentle call for "self-reflection." Her piece is subtle and gentle but it is hard to say it without sounding judgmental or critical.

    Maybe I got it because I remember a statement from State Senator Harold Halverson who essentially said, "People who come to Pierre are always the "worst case" example. They are also the one's who have done the least to help their situation and are least likely to get better even if we give them more money."

  41. 96Tears 2015.01.19

    If racketeer Governor Mike Rounds spent as much energy nurturing a first class education system in South Dakota as he and his cronies spent fleecing the federal EB-5 system, bilking millions from foreign investors on wasteful projects that lined his pals’ pockets, then maybe South Dakotans wouldn’t still be stuck with the shame of the nation’s lowest paid teachers and the worst state commitment to higher education. Rounds wasted our time in his crusade to bilk school districts out of their budget reserves, preferring to continue the starvation of our entire education system. In doing so, he also increased millions in state reserves and slush funds, ignoring the obvious hypocrisy of his policies aimed at local school districts.

    No wonder his campaign pledge running for the U.S. Senate was to destroy the U.S. Department of Education. At least he’s consistent in his war against the public education system to lift poor and middle class Americans into a better economy.

    Governor Daugaard seems intent on following the same path. Jackie Sly’s vague missive appears to be another smokescreen to deflect from the oldest trick in the SDGOP’s bag of tricks to mislead the public on how their public education is supposed to work. She points to local school officials who’ve had to weather the attacks from Pierre for decades.

    Until the state steps up to the plate to live up to its end of the bargain, the games will continue. This is about money. It has been since Bill Janklow’s first term as governor. George Mickelson promised us that more jobs created by our taxes would create enough money to fund a competitive education system. It’s 21 years later and we’re still waiting to see a hint of that South Dakota miracle.

    Janklow came back to create a property tax relief program that ultimately just reshuffled the same stacked deck, increased more taxes and failed to fund lasting property tax relief and our public education system. The state promised to fund education with state gaming and that certainly did not happen.

    And now we are in the second half of Dumb and Dumber governors who continue to keep public education on starvation resources. Joop Bollen’s pocketing millions from their “prosperity for the few” agenda, but our public education system remains last on the list for resources but first on the list for abuse.

    To be fair, South Dakota elected these people, and by now they knew enough about the clowns to keep them in office and give them veto-proof legislative majorities to make sure they get everything they could possibly want. To me it seems like a lot money spent in Pierre to get nothing back that’s very useful. If Rep. Sly were an honest person, at least she would write that public education deserves to starve and fail, and that’s what we intend to continue to happen.

  42. leslie 2015.01.19

    well said 96

  43. leslie 2015.01.19

    kurtz-not so fun factiod-there are 6 SCOTUS catholics (aiasyark)

  44. Bill Fleming 2015.01.19

    It always amuses me Larry how you hate DWC so much, you read every word of it. LOL.

  45. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Actually, i just skim the comments and click on those using real names. i troll pp's twitter list pretty vigorously, too.

  46. Bill Fleming 2015.01.19


  47. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    Being blocked by the entire SDGOP hierarchy except Charlie Hoffman and Steve Hickey punctuates the pinnacle of self-actualization atop my Maslow pyramid, Bill.

  48. Bill Fleming 2015.01.19

    Ah, an over-achiever then. Got it. Thanks for clarifying, Larry. ;-)

  49. David Newquist 2015.01.19

    Sly's words are trite platitudes that do not connect language to any specific facts. Note how those who defend her demonstration of illiteracy must rely on what they can read into it, not what can be read out of it. Where is Rohrschach when you
    need him?

  50. Troy 2015.01.19

    When I'm not satisfied with a place or a set of outcomes, one of the first things I do is denigrate one of the persons inclined to listen to me, give me a hearing and advocate on my behalf. The worst thing to ever do is to listen to any advice that person might try to give me to be more successful. It always works to confirm every preconceived notion held by those she might try influence on my behalf. And, I really go over the top if I'm in a minority so it hardly makes a difference if my allies even get up in the morning.

  51. larry kurtz 2015.01.19

    and carry binders full of women.

  52. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.19

    Hang on, Troy: isn't Sly doing exactly that, denigrating pretty much everyone else in Rapid City? Shouldn't she be advocating on their behalf? Is Rep. Sly just mad at RCAS board member Ed McLaughlin for saying the Legislature is copping out by not helping deal with the teacher shortage and strained school budgets?

  53. Troy 2015.01.19


    Read slowly, reflectively and not reflexively what I have said in this thread.

    Like I said, there it isn't easy to suggest some self-reflection because it too often is taken with hypersensitivity. Maybe she is saying something that might be helpful.

    Or you can just castigate someone inclined to listen to your ideas. I'm sure it will move the ball along as you want.

  54. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.01.19

    Troy, the expression "Pot meet Kettle" comes to mind. You have an overbearing tendency to castigate any who disagree with you, even your fellow moderates like Steve Hickey. While Cory is unabashed about his affinity for snark, I have yet to see him offer bodily harm to anyone. I may disagree with his views on issues, but the man is honest and pure of the vein (or vain) hypocrisy so evident in other political pundits.

  55. o 2015.01.19

    Larry, I think you are correct that there is a certain fear of education (and other issues) because they boil down to funding. These issues become the stalking horse that opens the real flood gates of how we fund our government and social services. SD embracing a need for funding would necessitate a real discussion on how to raise those funds and splash back to how we do raise funds now. Years ago, gaming kicked the can down the road a little in that it gave property tax relief through "voluntary taxation," but the next step will not be so easy. SD may have to tax some people who do not want to be taxed for services and investments of value to our state. That is the direction so much of the road infrastructure debate has gone - not the need but the payment.

  56. Jon Holmdal 2015.01.19

    The SDEA is the teacher's Association and its representation. It is only as good as the teachers make it. Teachers have to become more involved in the peril of education in South Dakota. When they do parents will follow and so will most of the public.

  57. Troy 2015.01.19


    You like to reference that blog discussion. If that "never was anybody" (as opposed to "has been") believes it to have been more than a figure of speech but actual assault, I encourage him to take it up with law enforcement.

    Of course, like a good law enforcement officer knows, assault must include an "apparent and present ability to carry through on the threat" making a comment to "kick someone" in a private part on a blog would probably indicate it as a figure of speech said in frustration. But, the capabilities of the internet are getting pretty amazing so maybe the person has a legitimate reason to think the threat real.

    Of course, this "never was" can continue to make an ad hominem attack by alluding to the ludicrous. It explains the "never was."

  58. Donald Pay 2015.01.19

    I didn't find much of substance in her piece

    Here is a real problem in Sly's piece: "The financial woes of Rapid City School District have evolved over a period of many years. Some current programs and staff benefits began with a desire. Then it is declared a need. Shortly it becomes a right. At what point is the program and staff involved evaluated on the impact of improved student outcomes? Is the program or benefit still necessary or being implemented with fidelity? Every crisis provides an opportunity to adjust what has been done in the past."

    First, the financial woes of the district began in earnest in the 1990s, when the school funding formula changed. The formula has nothing to do with education and everything to do with political decisions to use the funding formula to drive property tax limitation. Hey, here's some news: it's the same formula today. So, she right. Twenty years of Republican misrule is a long time. Maybe the Legislature should change the formula so that it reflects educational need.

    Sure, there were budget issues before the current formula, but those were very miniscule problems.

    Second, she mention programs in general, but never mention one in particular. It must be nice to pontificate without being specific. What programs should be cut?

    Let me tell you what I saw when I was on the board. We had Governors who constantly pushed "technology." They funded lots of computers, or rather they let technology companies like Gateway dump rotten technology on us. Well, the district had to eventually replace that rotten stuff, and that cost some big money. Not only that, but we had to fund the staff that kept the stuff running. And also had to fund the folks who taught the teachers and students how to use it. Now technology is fine in middle and high schools, but we also were forced to stick them in elementary schools. Huge waste. Huge

    But we had Republican Governors and Legislators who refused to fund teachers and student programs, but would throw huge bucks at hardware. Were they getting kickbacks? None of this was done with any thought to "student outcomes" by the way.

    It might be wise for the Legislature to consider some accountability measures for themselves when it comes to education. Maybe the Legislature could start there.

  59. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    "First, the financial woes of the district began in earnest in the 1990s, when the school funding formula changed."

    Not true. Education appetite for tax money was just as great them The formula was to fund some with state sales tax instead of with local property tax. This keep small schools from being shut down just like the country schools of old were shut down.

    "What programs should be cut?"

    Sex Education
    Social Studies
    Health classes
    Physical Education
    Drivers Education
    Turn sports into club sports outside the school system and let the private sector fund them.
    Eliminate DOE's standards and the let the teachers and parents set the standards.
    Eliminate the textbooks and go to real books.

    That would be a good start.

  60. Donald Pay 2015.01.19

    No, Steve. The formula changed in the 1990s in order to funnel state sales tax money through the formula to fund the Governor's property tax reduction promise. There was absolutely no study of the need for programs.

    Steve, at least, proposes cuts. I disagree with most of them, but he doesn't dodge the issues like Rep. Sly.

  61. Steve Sibson 2015.01.19

    "No, Steve. The formula changed in the 1990s in order to funnel state sales tax money through the formula to fund the Governor's property tax reduction promise."

    I think I said the same thing:

    "The formula was to fund some with state sales tax instead of with local property tax."

    The problem is not enough taxes. The problem is waste on programs that are not all that important. Don, you gave a good example of waste. And the computers and Janklow's wiring the schools was not about education, it was about collecting data on students as a means of control. Money that should be going to teachers, along with all the money being spent on standard creation, standard implement, and assessment testing.

  62. JeniW 2015.01.19

    Steve S., please explain to me how the computer data being used to control the students.

    In what way were the students being controlled, and specifically from whom?

  63. Owen 2015.01.19

    Sly does nothing but spew Daugaard's propaganda. Pass the buck to the school boards and local people.
    Again no leadership in Pierre

  64. Owen 2015.01.19

    what information were they collecting Steve on students and why control them?
    I don't think computers are a waste of money. no matter what a student goes into that student will use a computer

  65. grudznick 2015.01.19

    Did young Ms. Sly vote for to give good teachers raises? If she did, then she supports good teachers. If she did not, then she probably supports the socialist unions.

  66. Owen 2015.01.19 wouldn't have given teachers raises and the SDEA has no power in this state

  67. Donald Pay 2015.01.19

    One of the things about cuts in programs like those Steve mentions is this: what do you do with the kids for all the time you have with them when they are not in the classes/programs you just cut?

    Let's say Steve's cuts amount to an hour and a half of class time per day. Do we let the kids out of school to wander the streets for that time? Probably not. You are going to have other programs or you are going to extend their time in other classes. You still have to hire the staff to cover that time, just in a different subject matter. Thus, you save no money in staff. Maybe you save a little bit in curriculum costs, but maybe not.

    Now let's consider PE. In many larger schools, PE classes can be l1.5 to 2.0 times larger than your normal academic class. So, cutting PE to put kids in an academic class means you have to add more staff. That actually costs more money.

    We ran into that situation in Rapid City when the administration suggested cutting strings classes to save money. An expert in music education showed us that saving strings/orchestra actually would save more money than cutting the program.

  68. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.01.19

    I am not sure where your digression leads to; but, I speak of this notorious post where you threatened to punch US Senate candidate Rick Weiland if he was in your presence (Troy Jones): " If he were in my presence, I would punch him and serve my time. Rick Weiland is a pig."

    figure of speech
    :a form of expression (as a simile or metaphor) used to convey meaning or heighten effect often by comparing or identifying one thing with another that has a meaning or connotation familiar to the reader or listener

  69. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.01.19

    P.S. I'm not a lawyer, but since he was a US Senate candidate, I would assume the US Attorney would have authority in the matter. US Code says:" (c) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

  70. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.01.20

    Or have I confused the "Troy" on here with the "Troy Jones" that made this threat above?

  71. Donald Pay 2015.01.20

    One thing that I'd get rid of is study halls.

  72. Troy 2015.01.20


    I never would have read Mad magazine, perpetually checked out the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, or developed the skill to go to the bathroom for 20 minutes but for study hall. Aren't we supposed to be life ready when we graduate?

  73. Bill Fleming 2015.01.20

    LOL, good one, Troy, and I would have never have been sent to detention if not for study halls. We developed an early form of "twitter" in there using rolled up notes disguised as spitballs. Teachers never did figure it out. Thought we were just being idiots throwing things at each other to act out our aggression (which come to think of it, was actually a little side benefit, I guess.)

  74. JeniW 2015.01.20

    No, Steve, your links did not answer my question. Thanks for trying though.

    Computers were placed in schools long before the Common Core fray.

    I want to know how the computers themselves are being used to control students from the time when Janklow approved the spending for the wiring of schools and computers up until the stuff about Common Core.

  75. Steve Sibson 2015.01.20

    JeniW, maybe you will believe what is coming from the horse's mouth (Gates Foundation):

    InBloom platform will eventually allow developers to build one application—like DreamBox, a differentiated math game, or Kickboard, a dashboard program that allows teachers to track students’ performance and behavior—and have it work automatically in several states. This coordination, in turn, is likely to attract even more technology entrepreneurs to a market for educational IT spending estimated to be worth $20 billion in 2013. And similar to the way that electronic health records promise to reduce costs and increase efficiency and effectiveness in medicine, the use of centrally hosted data, says Streichenberger, offers similar cost savings and improvements in education.

    But the very moves that make this idea a huge opportunity from the point of view of edtech entrepreneurs—the ability to find a large market for learning games and systems all in one place, to pull student data automatically, and to coordinate effortlessly with other apps—makes parents “horrified,” in the words of school activist Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters.

    “There are no limitations on the time-frame, or the kind of data. There’s no provision for parental consent or opt-out. The point is to give our kids’ data away for free, and share it as widely as possible with for-profit ventures to help them market and develop their learning products,” she says. “For-profit vendors are slavering right now at the prospect of being able to get their hands on this info. and market billions of dollars of worth of so-called solutions to our schools.”

  76. Steve Sibson 2015.01.20

    JeniW, here is the long-term agenda:

    State officials said P-20 will let researchers determine what drives academic and workforce success and failure as colleges and other state agencies share data. New Yorkers can be tracked from preschool to college to the workforce and, potentially, “throughout their lives,” the Journal News reported.

    That’s hardly a comforting thought to parents and educators who have spent the last few months railing against Race to the Top.

    Forty-four states are syncing data between schools and colleges, and 19 have connected workforce data, according to the Data Quality Campaign, a nonprofit funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others in 2005 to promote data use in education.

    Gates financially backed other Race to the Top initiatives such as nonprofit inBloom.

    Among student records being shared are classes, attendance, teachers, grades and transcripts. The department hopes to link with the state departments of Taxation and Finance, Labor and Health, along with the offices of Children and Family Services, and Technology.

  77. Jenny 2015.01.20

    Government has kept track of us since J Edgar Hoover's 50 plus years as Head of the FBI. I'm a parent and I'm not horrified by this, Sibby. I guess all you can do is keep prayin' for us, Sibs. I'm still waitin' for that Long old economic winter. I've got my guns and food and water in the basement.

  78. Steve Sibson 2015.01.20

    " I'm a parent and I'm not horrified by this, Sibby."

    Fool. I suppose you are in agreement with Carter and there really was no holocaust.

  79. Steve Sibson 2015.01.20

    Or the reason you are not worried is that you plan on worshipping the Beast, or perhaps already are.

  80. Bill Fleming 2015.01.20

    Sibby, that sounds more like how computers are being used to help children control businesses by giving the companies kid generated feedback on which kinds of programs they can develop to help them learn better and faster. i.e. if anyone is being controlled by the computer data, it's the developers, not the kids.

  81. Jenny 2015.01.20

    Sibby, be a good Christian and do some praying for us, if you're so worried about the end of the world. We all could use some praying, even the atheists.
    Sibby, you're probably being tracked more diligently b/c of your extreme utra right-wing anti-Obama beliefs with episodes of paranoia.

  82. Jenny 2015.01.20

    Even J Edgar Hoover couldn't find anything dirty on McGovern the biggest liberal of them all. Did you guys ever hear that story? Hoover couldn't stand McGovern and tried finding anything bad on him and couldn't. Ever the decent man, McGovern.

  83. JeniW 2015.01.20

    Jenny, when I was in grade school all those decades ago, I remember our having to sit for hours in the school's multi-purpose room to take IQ and achievement tests.

    I always thought we were being lied to when told that we could not "fail the test."

    Have to agree that government have been tracking us since Hoover's days and even before. We have to have a form for just about everything from the birth certificate to the death certificate.

  84. Jenny 2015.01.20

    The funniest thing of all is that Hoover was a cross-dresser and liked his men. As usual, a republican anti-gay hypocrite.

  85. Jenny 2015.01.20

    Troy gets after all of us when we get heated in conversing, but people it is true - Troy Jones threatened to beat up Rick Weiland if he ever saw him and called him a pig.
    Feel free to explain, Troy. We'll be here.....

  86. Steve Sibson 2015.01.20

    Fleming, do you actually believe what you just said? Hope not.

    Jenny, are you a holocaust denier?

  87. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.20

    I want to talk about sex. Education! There aint any. Why?

    SDs legislators and local school boards cant even agree what sex education is let alone how to teach it. Neither the bible, nor the shotgun, nor a mad dad has ever stopped two kids from haveing a hormonal catastrophe.

    While SD talks big about their work ethics, I might add a lot less in the last 20 years by those that dont live there, not much is said about their sexual proclivity toward STDs.

    " there has been 141% increase in gonorrhea in South Dakota,” Kightlinger says. “Going back ten years ago from 351 cases to over 800 cases this past year. An over 1,000% increase in syphilis, a 147% increase in Hepatitis C cases, a 167% increase in MRSA.”

    Now how do you suppose that happened? While no sex sounds nice and fuzzy and warm, we all know that real life very seldom takes that road. Sex is fueled by pier pressure, hormones, and a vivid imagination.

    In the meantime very few schools have real sex education. "This is a penis, and this is a vagina, when the stars aline a girl could get knocked up. Oh ya, there are some deseases out there you could get if you have sex. Class dismissed.!"

    Kids are smarter then that, and their parents are to. Why hide the truth when it could save so many people the grief of an STD or even death?

    For that reason I'm asking the parents of SD to do something. Every six months after your child turns 12 years of age, make sure that each boy has a fresh sex pack of three comdoms in their billfold, and every girl has the same in her purse.

    If your religion forbids the use of protection thats ok God will protect you if your faith is strong enough. And besides, if you dont tell them about sex they wont ever do it anyway. That has worked so well all these years why change?

    You wouldnt send your kids to school without shoes, would you? Why would you not try to give your children as much protection as you could to save them the pain and embarrassing consequences of an STD? Could it be your pride your worried about?

    Now your going to ask me "why three" condoms? Because they might want to save a friend from the same fate. Why should a kid have to pay the price for their parents inadiqusey where sex education is concerned?

    Thats "fresh condoms,"every six months. Or you can go to your doctor and have the test done both for STDs and pregnancy. Dont that sound like fun Grandma?

    The Blindman

  88. Bill Fleming 2015.01.20

    Do I believe that the only question Paul Simon would be able to think of to ask God when he sees him would be "Lord, is it be-bop-a-loo-la? Or Umm-pappa-do?" Sure why not? He's a pop songwriter, Sibby. That stuff is important to those dudes. What would you ask? ;-)

    p.s. don't you think God would know the answer? I bet he does.

    p.p.s. Or do you mean the "waiting in line part? Because I don't know about that, of course. Maybe Paul was just doing a little cosmic projecting.

  89. leslie 2015.01.20

    jenny please,...sibby has the floor right now distracting us from troy's faux pa felony!!

    sib's a little cranky today but is trying to get jeniW to read one of his special websites for a few days so she can speak intelligently with him.

  90. Bill Fleming 2015.01.20

    "Now your going to ask me "why three" condoms? Because they might want to save a friend from the same fate. Why should a kid have to pay the price for their parents inadiqusey where sex education is concerned?"

    Well that's a better answer than I was thinking, Dither. I was guessing they might waste a couple blowing them up like balloons. That's about all the more use I ever got out of 'em with the Jr. High girls. LOL

  91. Bill Fleming 2015.01.20

    Dithmer, not Dither... sorry. You're a lot of things, mon, but I don't think "ditherer" is one of them. LOL.

  92. Troy 2015.01.20


    It is a figure of speech. I am not a physical guy as anyone who knows me would attest. All I'm going to say is that raising money to retire a campaign using the death of a child before the parents have even had the funeral is the lowest thing I have ever seen in politics with regard to raising money. It rivals Westboro in my mind. Disgusting.

  93. Troy 2015.01.20

    I admit I was pretty angry but to this day, the thought causes my blood to boil.

  94. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.01.20

    From Mirriam-Webster:
    figure of speech
    :a form of expression (as a simile or metaphor) used to convey meaning or heighten effect often by comparing or identifying one thing with another that has a meaning or connotation familiar to the reader or listener

    Is it me? Or is there no simile or metaphor in his literal statement?

    If one of your political opponents had made such a statement, you would be frothing at the mouth calling for their criminal prosecution.

  95. JeniW 2015.01.20

    I had never heard of, or read that expression. The troubling thing is that it reads like a threat, that was made in public.

    If anything should ever happen to the person which the comment was made about, Troy could easily become a suspect.

  96. Troy 2015.01.20

    Dopey Dakotan,

    It is a metaphor for I am upset and I was expressing it hyperbolically. Your continued reference to it and my other time is hilarious. It belies a pathology. Get some help.

    Btw, Pope Francis made a similar comment "kick him where the sun don't shine" so does that mean you are putting me in his company. If so, I don't deserve the comparison. :)

  97. larry kurtz 2015.01.20

    Troy is a hypocrite, DD: metaphor is when a sex offender like Paul Dudley has a building named after him.

  98. larry kurtz 2015.01.20

    Troy Jones is an advisor to the criminal enterprise and Lee Schoenbeck is the attorney assigned to bury clergy crimes: any questions?

  99. larry kurtz 2015.01.20

    Paul Swain is a bean counter brought to the Sioux Falls diocese to cover up the paper trail left by his predecessors that include massive donations to SDGOP so it would drive legislation killing appeals.

  100. larry kurtz 2015.01.20

    Troy Jones advises the how and is paid generously by criminals.

  101. larry kurtz 2015.01.20

    Troy and Mary Jones are— [Editor's Note: Wait a minute: when did Mrs. Jones enter this discussion? That kind of needless attack got Sibby booted, Larry.]

  102. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.20

    Troy, I have difficulty believing that Republican legislators who have allowed South Dakota's K-12 funding to remain chronically underfunded are paragons of self-reflection. And I have difficulty gently deeming "subtle" an essay that fails to support its point with specifics. As Donald says, she's not crafting a master essay; she's dodging the issues.

    If someone in Rapid City is to blame, if certain decisions have been driven by emotion and not good sense, name them.

  103. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.20

    (That said, Troy, how do you rate that you catch such heck from both sides, from Larry and Disgusted? Troy, maybe you and I need to run as the gubernatorial Reasonable Moderate Fusion ticket in 2018?)

  104. grudznick 2015.01.20

    Mr. H, if you put Mr. Jones at the top of that ticket I will get the Conservatives with Common Sense to back your candidacy as long as you two don't do French math on your bill boards.

  105. Troy 2015.01.20


    Fusion is not in my vocabulary. I fear it viscerally as I have back issues. Waving crucifix now.

  106. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.20

    Dang—and I like the term so much. Fusion will save us from fossil fuel addiction and extremism. Now put that crucifix down and help me think of a name for our ticket.

  107. larry kurtz 2015.01.20

    Dipping crucifix in ndn blood is the GOP way, init?

  108. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.20

    Grudz, if "back" means "pledge money," we may be in business. But I insist on at least one French billboard. Payez les profs!

  109. grudznick 2015.01.20

    When you two file your candidacy expect not only funds but significant ground troops helping with signs and picketing and whatever you fellows want. I assume we put Mr. Troy up as the face of your venture and then you run the campaign strategy. I would be very good if Mr. PP was hired to run a competing campaign like if Mr. Nelson ran again or maybe better, Mr. Howie. I would vest you my meals-on-wheels if you humiliated Mr. Howie.

  110. Troy 2015.01.21

    CH, two things.

    Self-reflection: One of the hardest thing for humans to do is to do what it takes to "know thyself" but is critical to success. If you aren't getting what you want or think is best, it often is a time for self reflection and will produce fruit at some level.

    Also, I just noticed you have moderate in the name. I am not a moderate and neither are you. That said, it doesn't mean we can't be a team on a lot of things. One of the things I learned in state government is 90% of the decisions aren't partisan or ideological. And, on those areas, people who are properly motivated, can think, and pursue sufficient facts and information make pretty close to the same decision, regardless of outlook.

    And, it requires desiring to be good neighbors. I have a tree I really like, it causes you angst. I don't have to do anything but I value that we snow blow together, like beer on Summer evenings. So, I cut it down, trim it, or just agree to take your yard and give you tomatoes out of my garden. Winning every battle means we both just lose the war.

  111. Troy 2015.01.21

    P.S. Probably nobody on the blogs today gets this rancor is stupid best is Grudznick. He says what he thinks, calls a spade a spade, and moves on. Plus, he enjoys pimping those of us who take ourselves and every issue to seriously. At the end of the day, it is just a single tree.

  112. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.21

    O.K., scratch moderate. How about principled pragmatic?

  113. Bill Fleming 2015.01.21

    PP? Yikes! How about 'common ground.'

  114. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    How about "The Fusion Party."

    The Blindman

  115. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    Come on Troy if your back needs to be fused get er done. I have, thats one of the reasons I'm so cheerful all the time.

    Maybe "The Certs Party." "Its two, two, two mints in one."

    The Blindman

  116. Steve Sibson 2015.01.21

    "Now how do you suppose that happened?"

    Sex Education

  117. Steve Sibson 2015.01.21

    "Reasonable Moderate Fusion ticket"

    Since you guys have ruined the word "liberal", time to change the label huh?

  118. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    "The "Boiler Maker Party" whiskey and beer, together again for the first time.

    The Blindman

  119. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    "The Barney Party." Red and blue make purple. "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family. Scratch that one I'm already in a bad mood just thinking about it.

    The Blindman

  120. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    "F1" the first cross of two conflicting political views.

    Freedom First

    The Blindman

  121. Bill Fleming 2015.01.21

    BoilerMaker is great Bill. Sign me up.

  122. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    BF, Southern Comfort and Budwieser tastes pretty damn good and I have no doubt it would liven up a convention. But wow, the next morning! We couldnt have the president and his cabinet hiding in a dark room taking turns hitting the bong, and the oxegen tank. .08+1 I guess.

    The Blindman

  123. Bill Fleming 2015.01.21

    Hard Cider and Everclear, Guinness and Jameson, Red Bull and Jaeger, Bong Hit and iTunes, Shiva and Shakti, God and Godless, Ebony and Ivory, name yer poison Blindman. It's all good. Boilermaker!

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