Education

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

More than 9,500 public school teachers work within South Dakota’s boundaries. Some spend more time with kids during the week than parents. State Secretary of Education Melody Schopp says the community should elevate teachers with dignity and respect. SDPB’s Kealey Bultena begins our discussion about attitudes in teaching with Schopp, who says teaching is a noble profession.

The secretary leads the department of education, and teachers themselves say they struggle with the way people outside of education view their work.

e4e.org

In The Moment ... June 29, 2017 Show 125 Hour 2

 

More than 95-hundred public school teachers work within South Dakota's boundaries. Sometimes, they spend more time with kids during the week than parents. State Secretary of Education Melody Schopp says the community should elevate teachers with dignity and respect. SDPB's Kealey Bultena begins our discussion about attitudes in teaching with Schopp, who says teaching is a noble profession. Then, Lori Walsh and Kealey Bultena continue the conversation with insight from South Dakota teachers.

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... June 28, 2017 Show 124 Hour 2

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states must create an indicator of English Language Proficiency for k-12 students. More than 80 different languages are spoken in homes across South Dakota. Some school districts have very few English language learners, but in districts like Huron, nearly 1 in 4 students speak a language other than English at home. And as the population of Sioux Falls grows and diversifies, the need for resources increases.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Schools and producers are working to feed kids with local crops. A federal grant worth $24,158 helps educate stakeholders on the Farm to School movement. The project brings local ingredients to school food programs.

Farm to Table restaurants aim to bring local foods directly to diners. Schools have a similar program to connect students with products raised nearby.

Sandra Kangas is the South Dakota Department of Education’s director of Child and Adult Nutrition Services. She says Farm to School improves access to local foods.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

One hundred seventy-nine teachers survived their first school year with extra support. That’s thanks to a new South Dakota program that connects first-time educators with veteran teachers. They pair up for two years to increase support and professional development. Meet educators who can now look back on their first year in the classroom and plan ahead for a second year of mentoring.

kdlt.com

In The Moment ... June 14, 2017 Show 114 Hour 1

Skyforce basketball is a staple in the Sioux Falls professional sports scene. Recently the NBA's Miami Heat purchased controlling interest of the team. In The Moment producer Chris Laughery talks with president of the Sioux Falls Skyforce Mike Heineman about the future of the team in South Dakota.

youtube.com

In The Moment ... May 25, 2017 Show 101 Hour 2

What do you want to do with the rest of your life? It's the question college grads are asking this month, It's the question many adults are still asking,  long after the cap and gown are folded into the archival box. Dave Evans is on a mission to help others find theirs. He's written a book with Bill Burnett that . It's called "Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life."

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The International Coding Competition in Rapid City and recent international hacking events have prompt people to consider coding. It provides the scaffold for computers and smartphones and apps. Educators must decide how kids can learn code, what they should understand, and when they should start.

Take a peek inside this coding classroom. The room is warm. It’s afternoon. The school year draws to a close, and sixth-grader Adysen Moet plays a video game.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

This week kids in Sioux Falls are planting seeds and sprouts in four raised garden beds next to a parking lot. A few days ago, we brought you a conversation from Ground Works-Midwest about teaching gardens. Volunteers have now constructed more places for food to grow.

kylepettycharityride.com

In The Moment ... May 11, 2017 Show 091 Hour 1

SDPB’s Steve Zwemke talks with NBC analyst and former NASCAR racer Kyle Petty. Petty rides through South Dakota for the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America.

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether addressed the media for an update on child pornography charges against the former fire chief Jim Sideras. For the latest on the investigation, SDPB's Kealey Bultena joins us live from our studio at the University of Sioux Falls.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Aspiring nurses are researching vulnerable populations and brainstorming strategies to improve lives. University of Sioux Falls students examine vulnerable populations. Some teams consider solutions for children who are hearing impaired. Others develop a plan to deter college students from abusing alcohol. Hear from a nursing instructor about comprehensive patient care and learn about the vision these 20-somethings have for making the world a better place.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

An Eagle Butte woman is encouraging Native American leaders in 23 tribal governments. The Bush Foundation is dedicating resources to Native Nation Building. A woman from Cheyenne River is six months into the job of supporting and promoting Indian leadership.

Eileen Briggs is the Bush Foundation’s director of Native Nation Building. She says the work includes a handful of large investments to empower American Indian communities instead of prescribing solutions.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota schools are getting a minimal budget increase to cover inflation. State law requires lawmakers provide schools the money, but in tight budget years – like this one – they override that mandate. Education funding plans changed throughout the session.

One month ago, State Senators approved a bill that offers K-12 education a one percent increase. With a week left in the session, State Representatives decided they could offer no increase – not even one to cover inflation.

On the final day, Republican State Senator Deb Peters says lawmakers found a compromise.

SDPB

South Dakota lawmakers have finalized the state’s budget that starts on July 1, 2017 (Fiscal Year 18). State Senators and Representatives approve of a measure they call the general bill. It lists numbers for all revenues and all budgets in balance.

State Representative David Anderson is chair of House Appropriations.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

As educators incorporate best practices, utilize new projects in certain subjects, and incorporate innovative techniques into their lessons, one constant remains: you can’t teach students who don’t attend. Truancy is an evolving issue in South Dakota’s schools. State lawmakers are working to pass legislation to change state law regarding penalties for being out of school, and school leaders are using every tool they can find to convince kids to class.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

In The Moment ... February 13, 2017 Show 029 Hour 2

South Dakota Republican Party elected Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes has been elected by the South Dakota Republican Party to lead the SDGOP for the next two years. Chair Lederman will begin his term immediately and has called a Special Central Committee Meeting to be held at the end of February to adopt a budget and goals for 2017.

A package of legislation designed to address mental health issues in criminal justice has been presented to the legislature in Pierre. House Bill 1183 is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. Chief Justice David Gilbertson has led the effort to reduce recidivism and increase services to mentally ill people who often end up in jail. In Rapid City, Mayor Steve Allender has tackled the lack of services for the city’s mentally ill population.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A measure that automatically allows South Dakota’s home schooled students to participate in public extracurricular activities is dead. A legislative committee considered House Bill 1123 for nearly two hours Monday before decided not to support it.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed House Bill 1069. This is the repeal and revision of certain provisions related to campaign finance and to declare an emergency. 

A bill supported by Democrats in the South Dakota legislature eliminates the state sales tax on food. State Representative Ray Ring from Vermillion sponsors House Bill 1119. He says the change will help people with lower incomes.

The New Colossus

In The Moment... February 2, 2017 - Show 022, Hour 1

Brett Bradfield Named USF President

Jan 31, 2017
SDPB

After a seven month search the University of Sioux Falls announced Brett Bradfield as its 23rd president.

 

Bradfield has worked at the university for 16 years and in 2007 became the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Bradfield says he recognizes the challenges higher education institutes face but is hopeful the University of Sioux falls will stay strong into the future.

The scene was festive in the student commons. Students, faculty, staff and trustees mingled in anticipation of the announcement.

SDPB

Supporters of a bill in South Dakota’s Statehouse say it maximizes academic freedom in the classroom, and its opponents say the measure is anti-science. Senate Bill 55 has passed two of the four hurdles to Governor Dennis Daugaard’s desk.

The bill is one sentence long. It says, “No teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze, critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information presented in courses being taught which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48.”

Daugaard Says He Will Veto Transgender Locker Room Bill

Jan 26, 2017
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says as it’s currently written, he will veto the transgender locker room bill if it reaches his desk.
 
Senate Bill 115 defines a person’s sex based on anatomy. It states that locker rooms, showers and changing facilities in public schools, shall be for use by persons of only the same sex.
 
The bill also states school districts can provide accommodations for transgender students.
 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Leaders use the phrase "workforce shortage" often as South Dakota sees low unemployment and a mismatch of skills with job openings. Local hospitals and clinics are not immune. One area health organizations is paying to train students for positions they can’t fill. In turn, students learn on-the-job during internships and commit to staying in town for a few years.

Rapid City Middle School Receives $900,000 Grant

Jan 12, 2017
Katy Urban / Rapid City Area Schools

Rapid City school district leaders say a $900,000 improvement grant for North Middle School will help students achieve proficiency in math and reading levels.

North Middle School is a Title One, focus school. That means its population is made up largely of students from low income families and other subgroups that score low proficiency scores in state assessments.

Governor Dennis Daugaard kicked of the 2017 legislative session with the annual State of the State address before a joint session of lawmakers.

Stories featured in this Statehouse Podcast: Amazon remits sales tax for South Dakota residents. Teachers saw a salary increase across the state but Democrats want adjustments regarding declining enrollment. War on drugs coming to state and offenders get one chance. Governor wants out-of-state think tanks to stay out of state business. Protestors want state to listen to voters; and working on transparency from the inside.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers say they want to adjust parts of last year’s education overhaul. The governor says the current reform is working, because a sales tax for teacher pay is pushing average educator salaries up.  

One piece of vast K-12 education reform from 2016’s legislative session involves declining enrollment. Schools now must use the final number of students enrolled in the fall to determine their share of state dollars. Before they could average the previous two years to ease into lower funding.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Mitchell teacher has won a prestigious national award that comes with $25,000. An assembly this week surprised the fourth grade educator with the honor.  

Local and state leaders gather at Longfellow Elementary in Mitchell to recognize a teacher. Students and staff attend the assembly under false pretenses before they find out the real reason they gather. Greg Gallagher with the Milken Family Foundation announces that one of the educators in the gym is set to receive a celebrated award.

Rapid City Area Schools

A $1.8 million grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to researchers at the University of New Hampshire will focus on evaluating and implementing violence prevention programs in Rapid City schools.

Officials say the four year grant continues work on reducing violence among teens and adolescents.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender students in South Dakota say they encounter discrimination in school. Their stories are part of a document released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch.

The 103-page report indicates students in South Dakota are bullied, harassed, and threatened because they’re LGBT. It includes stories that some schools and teachers treat LGBT kids – and staff – differently.  

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