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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

Lawmakers Deny Additional Funding for JAG

A program that has the goal of graduating at-risk youth won’t receive additional funding this year.  Jobs for America’s Graduates, or JAG, is a nationwide program found in communities with low high school graduation rates. It started six years ago in South Dakota. Representative Troy Heinert says his mom helped start the pilot program. He backs the general appropriations amendment asking for an additional $250,000 in funding.

“What we’re finding with JAG is these are children who, through no fault of their own, have never seen success. It’s not engrained in them, it’s not historically important to them to graduate high school. That’s a big thing. It’s easy to drop out when everyone before has dropped out. You’re kind of, you’re breaking family tradition by graduating,” Heinert says.

Heinert says the program was given about $220,000 last year to cover three years. He says it’s already down to about $90,000. Members of the Joint Appropriations committee tabled the request, saying there needs to be a more comprehensive plan to fund programs like JAG and Teach for America.