Kealey Bultena

SDPB News Reporter

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).

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Jenifer Jones

Debate on a possible tax hike to fund education is stalled in the State House until next week. Educators who support more money for teacher pay packed the gallery at the Statehouse. As Representatives started work on part of a new education plan for South Dakota, discussion stopped when a fraction of lawmakers invoked a special rule.

Jenifer Jones

Lawmakers in Pierre reject a measure that requires parents opt in to education related to human sexuality. House Bill 1168 mandates parents provide written permission before a student participates in any education related to sex ed, abstinence or human sexuality. That includes specific courses but also units in required classes such as biology.

State Representative Tom Holmes is a former classroom teacher.

The Statehouse Podcast for Tuesday February 9th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on the policy for allowing transgender students in high school sports, prenatal care, and vaccine warnings.

Jenifer Jones

A bill that eliminates an activities policy on transgender students is halfway through the Statehouse. House Bill 1112 voids the transgender policy the South Dakota High School Activities Association has in place. Lawmakers in Pierre amended the measure during debate.

Several South Dakota lawmakers say they understand school leaders want a consistent, clear policy for transgender students, but legislators disagree about who should institute the guidelines and what they should include.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre support the first element of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s proposal to infuse more money into schools for teacher pay. House Bill 1182 is one of three bills that compose the K-12 education funding plan. The bill authorizes a sales and use tax increase of one half of one percent.  

SDPB

The Statehouse Podcast for February 8th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on: abortion regulations, education funding, religious freedom and LGBT civil rights, open meetings, and a courthouse and capitol enhanced conceal carry bill.

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for Sunday, February 7th includes coverage of legislation on medical marijuana, Medicaid expansion, education funding, and government accountability. 

 

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for February 4th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on industrial hemp, and medical marijuana along with a bill allowing lawmakers to carry a concealed handgun in the capitol.  The podcast also includes coverage of  a bill requiring mandatory meningitis vaccination for middle school students and a bill dealing with science curriculum requirements - plus other legislation. 

 

State lawmakers killed a bill Thursday that allows science teachers to incorporate information outside the approved curriculum to help students analyze and learn. Supporters of the measure say it gives teachers power to facilitate understanding; opponents question whether the measure solves a real problem.

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for February 3nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on transgender and gay marriage polices and effort to modify a measure dealing with health care passed by voters in 2014.  The podcast also includes an update on the bill requiring the results of abortion facility inspections to be posted on-line and legislation that requires schools to implement and practice safety plans.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

A measure that allows lawmakers to review the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s social policy is dead. Some legislators support House Bill 1111 as a means to regulate issues related to transgender students among other matters. The argument on the bill in committee centered on the whether the activities association qualifies as a state agency.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

A new perspective on education funding is working its way through the State Capitol, but some say it’s an uphill battle. This year Governor Dennis Daugaard is proposing an overhaul of the way the state funds education. His plan includes a half-penny increase in the sales tax and a change in the way schools get funding. The plan requires two-thirds of the state’s lawmakers to approve a tax increase in an election year.

Jenifer Jones

A state Senate panel is endorsing education plans that focus on supporting Native American students. One of those measures funds programs that focus on incorporating Indian culture and language into standard subjects. 


Dakota Midday: NOVA "Himalayan Megaquake"

Jan 27, 2016
www.pbs.org

On April 25, 2015, a devastating earthquake rocked Nepal.  As it ripped across the Himalayas, it wiped out villages and left thousands dead.  NOVA's "Himalayan Megaquake" premieres Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m.

Dakota Midday: Holocaust Awareness Day

Jan 27, 2016
Augustana University

In recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, author Patrick Hicks joined SDPB's Kealey Bultena to discuss his research and visits to the historical sites that served as Nazi death camps in Europe.  Hicks is the author of over 10 books including The Commandant of Lubizek.  He is Writer-in-Residence at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.

Dakota Midday: Dakota Political Junkies

Jan 27, 2016
South Dakota Legislature Legislative Research Council

Dakota Political Junkies Denise Ross and Jonathan Ellis joined guest host Kealey Bultena Wednesday to discuss several issues from the 2016 legislative session in Pierre.  A Daylight Savings bill sponsored by Senator Betty Olson of Prairie City was approved by a Senate panel yesterday.  The bill seeks to reject Standard Time, eliminating the changing of clocks twice a year.  The Junkies also visited about HB 1008, an act to restrict access to certain restrooms and locker rooms in public schools, the advancement of a school safety requirement plan in the state senate and more.

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for January 26th, 2016 includes stories on: a proposed change to daylight savings time, regulations for changing school district boundaries, a bill that requires lockdown practice in schools, and more.

Jenifer Jones

The Legislative Podcast for January 25th, 2016 includes stories on an effort to change the policy on transgender bathrooms and locker rooms in schools.  You can find more from opponents, and proponents who were interviewed on SDPB’s Dakota Midday.   This podcast also includes updates on legislation to mandate a meningitis vaccine for entry in school and an effort

Sioux Falls Police Department

Sioux Falls police need help finding a 13-year-old boy who ran away from home. Officials say Donlyn Newholy disappeared from the Downtown library around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

He’s Native American, about five feet tall and 110 pounds. The teenager has brown hair and brown eyes. Authorities say he was last seen in a grey sweater, black pants. Newholy was wearing black and white shoes and carrying a grey backpack.

Anyone who has information about Donlyn Newholy should contact Sioux Falls Police Department at 605-367-7000 or dial 911.

A bill outlining which students can use which bathrooms in South Dakota schools is past its first legislative hurdle. The House State Affairs committee Monday approved House Bill 1008. Supporters of the measure say it protects student privacy; opponents say the move harms students who are transgender.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers are trying to figure out the best way to fund education in 151 different South Dakota school districts. And that might be especially difficult when it comes to small schools. Bills with the language of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s plan to increase teacher pay are not yet filed in Pierre. Right now lawmakers are working off of explanations from the governor’s State of the State speech and the Department of Education. Members of the legislature are determining what revamping the K-12 funding formula means for small schools and whether leaders are starting in the right place.

State lawmakers working on policies to increase teacher pay are weighing accountability and local control. The two concepts clash as legislators look at a plan to raise the sales tax for teacher salary increases – even among Republicans who control both chambers of South Dakota’s legislature.

A poll commissioned by Governor Dennis Daugaard indicates at least 71 percent of likely voters approve of his plan to raise the sales tax one half-cent to increase teacher salaries.

Legislative Podcast: Ed Funding, Medicare Expansion, Welfare Drug Testing

Jan 24, 2016

The SDPB Legislative Podcast for January, 24th, 2016 includes stories on Education Funding, Medicare Expansion, Welfare Drug Testing, and an effort to limit the scope of the State Board of Geographic Names.

State representatives support a measure that takes South Dakota out of a regional coalition. State leaders entered the Midwestern Higher Education Compact in 2008. A push is now underway to end the contract with 11 other states.

South Dakota is part of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Proponents say the Board of Regents has gained from the membership. State lawmakers say enrollment has two primary advantages: it offers more buying power on technology purchases and savings on property insurance.

Katie Hunhoff - South Dakota Magazine

The Legislative Podcast for January 21, 2016  includes three stories on education issues plus a story on a proposal to change the DUI law for juveniles and an effort to end the Pac Man Tax.

Kealey Bultena

Public school administrators are telling teachers a plan to increase the average teacher salary to more than $48,500 doesn’t mean pay raises across the board. Governor Dennis Daugaard wants to boost education funding by raising the sales tax by a half cent. 

South Dakota’s Blue Ribbon Task Force determined that teacher pay in South Dakota is behind surrounding states by thousands of dollars. Now lawmakers must decide on the right mechanism for funding K-12 education and how much money school districts should receive.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Leaders in Pierre are laying out the governor’s new plan for dispensing state tax dollars to schools. This week’s discussion includes details about proposed caps to school districts’ reserve funds. 

South Dakota school districts are allowed to keep reserve funds. They’re basically savings accounts for general fund dollars. Part of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s plan to alter the funding formula for K-12 schools includes limiting the amount of money schools can squirrel away.

Legislative Podcast: College Prep, Kickboxing Fees, Elder Abuse

Jan 19, 2016
Amy Varland

The Legislative Podcast for January 19th, 2016 includes stories on boosting college prep, an increase in kickboxing and MMA event fees, an effort to curb elder abuse, and a list of new prohibited drugs being considered by lawmakers.

Higher education leaders are working to get students on track for college-level courses without adding to their years in school. Not all students are prepared for college or tech programs after high school. Now educators are offering them opportunities to catch up while taking normal class loads.

Representatives from the Board of Regents and South Dakota’s technical institutes are talking to lawmakers about retaining students – especially when their skills are shy of normal requirements. State colleges and tech schools now have versions of co-remediation.

SD Department of Corrections

A high-risk inmate is leaving prison this week after 11 years. Leaders with the South Dakota Department of Corrections say the prisoner has a violent record and did not follow rules while serving time, but his sentence has expired.  

Michael Ontiveros leaves prison Wednesday after completing time for multiple burglaries in Hughes and Walworth counties. The 47-year-old man is a registered sex offender with a history of attempted sexual assault, kidnapping, escape, and grand theft.

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