Education

Jenifer Jones

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

 

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 / 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.

Dakota Digest for January 29, 2016

Jan 29, 2016
SDPB

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, the state legislature has concluded its work for the month of January. This week the top topics were Transgender students and bathrooms in public schools, education, medicaid expansion, and daylight savings time.

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. 


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

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.

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.

SDPB

President Obama has announced new regulations and more stringent background checks for anyone who wants to purchase a firearm. 

Meanwhile, in South Dakota 2015 saw a spike in the number of concealed pistol permits, the permits allow a citizen who has completed a background check to legally hide and carry a handgun.  

While a state issued conceal carry permit requires a background check it doesn’t necessarily streamline the federal background checks needed to purchase a firearm.  Some state lawmakers hope that can change.
 

There are 85 Republicans and 20 Democrats in the South Dakota Legislature. Although one party has a clear majority, leaders say with issues like Medicaid expansion and tax increases, both sides need to work together to accomplish goals.

Speaker Wink and Senator Sutton continue the conversation of the Session's top issues ... from raising teacher salaries, to food tax relief. They also discuss how South Dakota citizens can be part of the legislative process.

Kevin Killer and Shawn Bordeaux discuss the intersection of state politics and tribal politics. From education to Medicaid expansion to the arts, the two state representatives highlight issues important to South Dakotans and call for partnerships between Native and non-Natives throughout the state. 

Legislative Podcast: State of the Judiciary, Education, Ethics Reforms

Jan 13, 2016
Melissa Hamersma / SDPB

The January 13th, 2016  SDPB Legislative Podcast features stories on the State of the Judiciary, education, and ethics reforms efforts.

Governor Dennis Daugaard sits down with Dakota Midday Host Lori Walsh to discuss  education, criminal justice reform, transparency and accountability in state government and business, and a potential state park in Spearfish Canyon. 

SDPB's Kealey Bultena digs in to the details of education reform, breaking down the numbers for Governor Dennis Duagaard's proposed teacher salary increase and highlighting reaction from lawmakers and educators. She also lets teachers and parents know what to expect going forward and how to be a part of the lawmaking process.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Governor Dennis Daugaard says increasing the sales tax on food does not pose an economic problem for South Dakotans. The governor’s plan to fund education increases the sales tax on all purchases one half of one penny.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Some local lawmakers from both political parties say they support Governor Dennis Daugaard’s plan to increase money for education. Two members of the Blue Ribbon Task Force say the governor is making adequately funding schools a priority. Both lawmakers still anticipate some changes to the governor’s initial plan.

SF School Leader Optimistic About Edu. Plan

Jan 11, 2016
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The leader of the state’s largest school district says South Dakota has an opportunity to restore value to careers in education. Governor Dennis Daugaard is set to reveal his vision for school funding during Tuesday afternoon's State of the State address. One education leader says the Governor’s proposal is more than a spending plan.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers from districts in and around Sioux Falls are previewing their priorities for the 2016 legislative session. Wednesday morning a couple hundred people attended an annual breakfast from the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce to hear what lawmakers anticipate in the coming weeks.

Education

Teach For America Forges New Partnerships

Dec 28, 2015
Teach for America

Teach for America has announced new agreements with two tribes and one school that aims to get more teachers into reservation schools.
 
Teach for America recruits top young professionals, often right after college, and puts them in classrooms around the country.
 
South Dakota is facing a teacher shortage and schools on reservations like Standing Rock and Rosebud are areas of critical need.  
 
Jim Curran with Teach for America says the agreement helps recruit more Native teachers to come back home and teach in classrooms close to where they grew up.

One South Dakota lawmaker says she’s crafting a resolution about debt-free college. Democratic State Representative Paula Hawks says she wants to start a conversation with fellow lawmakers about the cost of higher education.

The phrase “debt-free college” is appearing in national discussions. State Representative Paula Hawks says she wants to bring the dialogue to South Dakota.

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