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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Education Service Agencies seek funding

South Dakota created Education Service Agencies in 2004 and is among the majority of states to have them in place. ESA’s are divided into regions to deliver services such as teacher training and professional development to schools across the state. This legislative session, education officials are asking for funding in Senate Bill 76. SDPB’s Cassie Bartlett has this story.

In 2010 the agencies lost funding due to budget cuts. School districts now have to pay the burden of bringing ESA workers in to train teachers, but most of the ESA’s are short staffed because of lack of funding. Senate Bill 76 is asking for $500,000 in one time money to rekindle the ESA’s. Joan Frevik with ESA District 2, located in the southeastern part of the state, says the program can be improved with better communication.
 
“Some of the other things that happen in terms of technology that takes the burden away from districts or for ESAs to physically drive to those sites would also be sharing the materials, sharing of presentations. As long as we can continue to work together as a system, not a subset of isolated delivery mechanisms but one unified system, we can make better use of those technologies,” Frevik says.
 
Frevik says the ESA’s have formed overall goals in previous years, but then each district creates its own plan of implementation. For South Dakota Public Broadcasting, I’m Cassie Bartlett.