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SDEA Pres: Good Education Is A Right

The South Dakota Education Association’s new president wants people to understand how the state fits into the country’s conversations about public schools. This is American Education Week. The purpose is to celebrate all people who make quality education possible. The new SDEA leader says good schools require input from everyone.

The 93rd annual American Education Week theme is "Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility."

Mary McCorkle is president of the South Dakota Education Association. She says schools in the state offer students climates that encourage exploration and learning.

"Our students deserve the best public school possible. That is their right," McCorkle says "It’s our responsibility as citizens of South Dakota to ensure that they have the very best that they can."

McCorkle says discussions about creating quality public school environments can’t happen between only education leaders and lawmakers.

"And education is not just the school, the teacher, the students. Education is the parents. Education is the community, and it takes all of us to educate our students. You know, it takes a village. That’s not a cliché; that’s the reality, and that’s what we need for good public schools," McCorkle says.

McCorkle says one of the most pressing challenges South Dakota faces is a shortage of highly-qualified teachers. She says resolving that is part of a larger call to continuously improve public education in the state.

Thursday’s Dakota Midday features an extended conversation with SDEA President Mary McCorkle. Tune in for that at 12 p.m. central/11 a.m. mountain time on SDPB Radio.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).