Poverty

Courtesy Melody Schopp

South Dakota’s Secretary of Education is reflecting on a recent trip to Africa. Melody Schopp is set to be the next president of the Council of Chief State School Officers, and she went to Malawi last week through the US Department of State.

Schopp says students in Malawi learn in huge classes or groups outside, and they don’t have bright, colorful classrooms like she sees in South Dakota. She says she saw this while touring African schools.

Bishop Dudley Hospitality House

A Sioux Falls emergency shelter is implementing a pay-for-stay program for some guests. The Bishop Dudley Hospitality House offers lodging for the homeless and vulnerable. The new system is part of a focus on supporting people who need temporary assistance.

Starting May 2nd, people who work but don’t have homes receive 30 days lodging at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House for free. After that, executive director Chad Campbell says they’ll have to pay.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre support two programs aimed at Native American education. One measure seeks to help people who want to finish college courses so they can teach in Native American schools. The other sets up a pilot program to combine innovative cultural teachings with standard subjects.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Each legislative session, some major issues seem to take the spotlight in Pierre – and education is dominating this year’s conversation. Much of SDPB’s coverage relates to funding schools and teachers, because lawmakers are trying to find ways to fairly and adequately fund education. Despite a goal to provide the same opportunity for all kids by doling out the matching funding for students, children walk into classes facing a wide range of challenges. A visit to one Sioux Falls school reveals some of those differences.

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. 


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.

Northwest Area Foundation Leader Speaks in Rapid City

Aug 27, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

The president and CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation says the demographic changes underway in this country make him optimistic about the future.   

But Kevin Walker says more needs to be done to create opportunities for poor and marginalized people in this economy if the United States is going to compete globally.

The Northwest Area Foundation is a $400-million dollar philanthropic organization that was started about 80 years ago.  It invests in projects across eight northwestern states and 75 indigenous nations.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

An area health system is donating $75,000 to support a truck that takes food to hungry people across the state. Avera is putting $25,000 into Feeding South Dakota’s mobile food pantry each year for the next three. The donation supports communities in the central part of the state.

Feeding South Dakota’s mobile food truck has refrigerated sections. That means foods that need to stay cool – think dairy products, produce, and meats – can make it across the state for distribution to hungry families.

SD Housing for the Homeless Consortium

A statewide survey shows more than 1,000 people in South Dakota are homeless. But advocates for affordable and appropriate housing say the number of people in need is much higher. Stakeholders in Sioux Falls gathered Wednesday to discuss a plan to curb homelessness and improve quality of life.

The official 2015 Statewide Point in Time Homeless Count reveals 1,036 people are homeless in South Dakota. That one-day snapshot shows the number of people without a home is up 17 percent from last year.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The federal government is directing $250,000 to South Dakota to help people with food or shelter in emergencies. That is the same amount the state usually receives from FEMA. The grant money can be used for problems housing and food problems that aren’t related to disasters.

FEMA distributes Emergency Food and Shelter Program money based on a state’s current unemployment, food insecurity and poverty data. In South Dakota, that equates to the minimum amount FEMA can provide a state.

A South Dakota Congresswoman and the leader of the US Department of Agriculture are at odds over nutrition standards in school lunch programs. Representative Kristi Noem is providing lawmakers legislation that eases the dietary guidelines for meals provided by schools.  

What's Next After Tribal Nations Conference?

Dec 8, 2014

Last week, President Obama announced an initiative aimed at improving conditions and opportunities for American Indian youth.  Josie Raphaelito, Program Manager at the Center for Native American Youth attended the event.  Marilyn Fox, a Native Youth Ambassador and high school student on the Standing Rock Reservation, had the opportunity to speak at the conference.  They joined Dakota Midday guest host Joe Tlustos to visit about the initiative's next steps.

2013 Assets And Opportunity Scorecard

Feb 12, 2013

Jennifer Kline, Executive Director of South Dakota Voices for Children, discussed the 2013 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard which was issued by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) in Washington, D.C.  The report shows that 40% of South Dakotans are defined as "liquid asset poor," which means they lack adequate savings to cover basic expenses at the federal poverty level for just three months if they suffer a loss of stable income.

New Poverty Numbers For South Dakota

Nov 28, 2012

The income gap between rich and poor widened at a faster pace in South Dakota than almost all other states between the late 1990s and the mid 2000s.  That's according to a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.  SDPB news producer Kealey Bultena looks into the numbers and discusses her findings with Dakota Midday host Karl Gehrke.