Saturday, July 31, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Will South Dakota Lawmakers Fund Education Per State Statute?


Wednesday, February 19, 2020   

PIERRE, S.D. - Supporters of public education in South Dakota hope the state's brighter revenue picture means legislators will focus on schools and provide the financial resources to help them thrive.

State law says aid for schools must increase annually by the rate of inflation, which currently is about 2%. Nonetheless, Gov. Kristi Noem has proposed no increase for schools for the coming year.

South Dakota Education Association president Mary McCorkle said a half-cent sales tax passed by residents in 2016 boosted funding, but it needs to be sustained.

"So, every time we don't fund according to the requirement that's in statute, we do fall further behind," she said. "So, it's about teacher salaries, but it's really about funding our schools and making sure that our students have what they need."

After an 8% funding cut following the Great Recession, the money was not replaced. McCorkle said when school districts are forced to make choices due to lack of funding, they're often poor choices for students and communities. The revenue available to legislators is now about $19 million more than the original projection, making the total available budget about $5 billion.

The state's Education Association also wants lawmakers to defeat Senate Bill 147, which aims to eliminate collective bargaining for higher-education employees. A similar bill was defeated two years ago. Some have argued that the change would allow universities to be more nimble, but McCorkle said like K-through-12, salaries for college professors haven't kept up with other states, and not giving those employees a voice can create a negative environment.

"If you can't retain high-quality professors and provide them with certainty in their research, in their employment, in their tenure track," she said, "how are you going to attract quality people?"

The SDEA also is asking lawmakers to change the eligibility date for entering kindergarten, from Sept. 1 to Aug. 1, so children are five years old when they start school. McCorkle said the change would help ensure that kids are prepared academically, and show more social and emotional readiness.

The text of SB 147 is online at

Disclosure: South Dakota Education Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Education. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

More than 3 million adults nationwide are at risk of eviction in the next two months, after a federal eviction moratorium expires tomorrow, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. (HeatherPaque/Pixabay)

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

Health and Wellness

LANSING, Mich. -- Advocates for home- and community-based services in Michigan urged Congress to build off state efforts and invest in what's become …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021