Education

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.

While people brave Black Friday on the hunt for deals, an expert says toy shoppers should make sure their great buys are appropriate for particular kids. Not all toys are made for children of different ages. Plus some choices offer kids a better opportunity to learn and grow.

Amy Hiesinger is a family life educator with Sanford Health. She says people should consider a child’s age and capabilities when shopping for gifts. Hiesinger says little children respond well to interactive gifts.

Dakota Digest for November 20, 2015

Nov 21, 2015
SDPB

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, Jewel Cave surpasses 180 miles long, lawmakers discuss education, and a former middle school teacher gets 25 years in prison for child pornography.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Some lawmakers on South Dakota’s education task force say they hoped for a more specific funding plan. The report from the Blue Ribbon committee includes many precise recommendations. Some members say the final numbers don’t go far enough.

Dakota Midday: Leadership SD

Nov 17, 2015

Leadership South Dakota aims to build the next generation of state leaders.

The program sends participants to different locations across the state like the State Capitol in Pierre, South Dakota State University in Brookings, and Oglala Lakota College in Kyle.
 
Students spend time getting to know the people and organizations in these communities.

The Blue Ribbon Task force has sent its report to Governor Dennis Daugaard.  In it they make several recommendations to improve education in South Dakota.  The task force calls for at least $75 million in ongoing additional revenue for education, boosting the average teacher salary and changing the funding formula to reflect a student teacher ratio.

Two members of the task force join us to talk about the report.  Democrat Billy Sutton and Republican Deb Soholt.

SDEA President Mary McCorkle is traveling the state as part of the annual American Education Week tour. Millions of educators and parents, students and community leaders are joining the NEW in raising awareness about the critical need to provide every child with a quality public education. Mary McCorkle joins us to talk about what’s happening in South Dakota and will also respond to the Blue Ribbon Task Force report.

NSU Receives Grant To Fund Student Support Services

Nov 16, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education is awarding nearly one and a half million dollars to a program that assists students at Northern State University. The TRIO Student Support Services Grant funds programs for those who are the first in their family to pursue a four-year degree, meet income qualifications, or have a documented disability.  

 

Patty Buechler

Mental health care providers working in schools receive recognition this week. Governor Dennis Daugaard has declared School Psychology Week in South Dakota to acknowledge their impact on learning. School psychologists focus on removing challenges so students can succeed in the classroom.

A library in Sioux Falls is partnering with Feeding South Dakota to provide after-school snacks for elementary students.

At 3 o'clock on a school day, students at Anne Sullivan Middle School walk across the street to Oak View Library while they wait to get picked up. Director of Siouxland Libraries  Mary Johns says staff had the idea of asking Feeding South Dakota if the two groups could partner to provide a snack for students who stay late in the evening waiting for parents.

Investigations into three separate corruption scandals involving state government are now underway in South Dakota.
 
They include EB-5, Gear Up, and alleged missing state funds along with items from the Secretary of State’s office.
 
These scandals have lead some in South Dakota to question the level of oversight in state programs.
 

Mt. Rushmore Presidents Offer Their Views

Oct 29, 2015
Courtesy The Educational Travel Institute of America

The four presidents whose images are carved on Mount Rushmore recently took to the stage at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Theater in Rapid City. To be clear, four renowned historical re-enactors offered a one-time only look at “Presidents” Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. With Election Day almost upon us, SDPB’s Jim Kent stopped by to ask the  legendary leaders some questions about concerns in their own administrations that are still relevant today. 

South Dakota’s scores for math and reading on a nationwide education assessment test are at or above the national average. Results on what’s often called “the Nation’s Report Card” were down in several other states.

 

State of South Dakota

Stakeholders examining education funding in the state are working on final recommendations to the governor. Thursday is the final meeting of South Dakota’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. Members met throughout the summer and fall to understand challenges related to K-12 education.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Sioux Falls teacher is a recipient of a prestigious education honor. Teachers can’t apply for the Milken Educator Award; the foundation identifies candidates and selects them without letting the teacher know – that is, until this week at a surprise assembly.  

Hundreds of students at Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School stomp up bleachers in the gym. The band plays as they fill the stands and spill out onto the hardwood floor.

After introductions, Jane Foley with the Milken Family Foundation tells students one teacher can positively influence thousands of lives.

$7-Million In Bush Foundation Grants Target SD Education

Oct 19, 2015
Bush Foundaiton

The Bush Foundation has awarded about $7-million  in grants to boost education initiatives in South Dakota.

The grants aim to add to the number of Native American teachers overall and also to increase the number of indigenous language teachers.   One grant also boosts an effort to build more customized learning strategies for schools.  

Investigators say they believe Scott  Westerhuis a Platt resident and Administrator for the Mid-Central Education Cooperative, committed suicide in mid-September after he shot and killed his family and set his home on fire.  
 
The incident followed the termination of a $4-million dollar state contract with the Mid-Central Education Cooperative that oversaw the GEAR UP program.    
 
Those who formerly worked with GEAR UP now question what will happen to the six-thousand Native American students served. 

An Aberdeen native is becoming the president of Dickinson State University in western North Dakota. 

Thomas Mitzel says when he accepted the position as president of Dickinson State University, it felt like coming home.

Growing up in Aberdeen, Mitzel began his bachelor’s degree in English at Northern State University and graduated as a chemistry major. Currently he’s serving as the dean of students at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Harrisburg High School student is in custody after police say he brought a gun to school and shot the principal. Authorities stress all students are safe and the principal is stable. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are collaborating on the investigation. The Lincoln County States Attorney is determining what charges the teenager faces.

High school students piled onto bright yellow school buses late Wednesday morning after law enforcement swept the building for threats. 

The University of Sioux Falls and Augustana University are adding women’s swimming and diving teams.

High school senior Bekah Honner suddenly has lots of choices to consider as she starts her application process to swim on a college team.

“It is definitely a possibility staying in state since now Augustana and USF are starting teams, but I still have to weight my options,” says Honner.

Honner is a member of snow fox swimming club in Sioux Falls. She says it’s exciting to see the sport gaining attention.

NSIC

Augustana University and the University of Sioux Falls are adding swimming and diving as a varsity sport. Both schools are searching for swimmers as they look to start completing next fall.

The University of Sioux Falls has a swimming coach, but no pool or athletes yet. Josh Snyder is the athletic director at USF. He says when the city of Sioux Falls started building plans for the indoor aquatic center at Spellerberg Park, he had an idea.

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