Education

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Three people involved with an education cooperative that contracted with state government face criminal charges. South Dakota’s attorney general announced charges of falsifying evidence, conspiracy, and grand theft related to Mid Central Education Cooperative.

Mid Central Education Cooperative gained statewide attention in September when one of its leaders died violently. An investigation revealed that Scott Westerhuis killed his wife and four children before lighting the family home on fire and shooting himself.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A school safety plan at a southeast South Dakota district includes allowing people who are not law enforcement access to firearms on school property. The Tri-Valley school board Monday approved the first reading of a sentinel program.

Nearly 900 students in kindergarten through the 12th grade attend Tri-Valley school in Colton. The building sits outside of town across from a field.

March is National Reading Awareness Month. Teresa Berndt and Jasmine Rockwell discuss reading initiatives across the state and how to help kids overcome not only the "summer slide" but the "winter slump" in order to become happier and more successful readers.

Governor Dennis Daugaard is waiting to hear from the South Dakota Supreme Court before deciding how to act on two bills passed by the legislature.

SDPB

State Lawmakers have finished the main part of their work for the 2016 legislative session.

Statehouse Podcast: Education Bills Signed, Final Budget Passed

Mar 11, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for March 11th, 2016 includes coverage of South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signing education reform bills into law and the passage of the final budget bill in the state legislature. 

Governor Signs Education Funding Bills

Mar 11, 2016
SD Governor's Office

A sales tax hike to benefit education and property tax relief is becoming law along with a major shift in the way South Dakota funds public schools. The changes are part of a three-piece legislative package that overhauls education funding.

Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed sweeping education funding changes into law. He and Republican State Senator Deb Soholt say it’s critical that the new laws increase the sales tax for a boost in teacher pay.

The Statehouse Podcast for March 10, 2015 includes coverage of education reforms passed in Pierre and the final bills of the session.

 

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.

As the 2016 legislative session enters its final days, the Dakota Political Junkies weigh in on last minute wrangling in Pierre, an assessment of the education overhaul, and the high stakes of medical marijuana legislation. We wrap it up with a nod to the difficult life and emotional toll of workign as a public servant in state politics.

Statehouse Podcast: Education Reforms Advance, Medical Marijuana Dies

Mar 8, 2016
Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

The Statehouse Podcast for March, 8th 2016 includes coverage of legislation on education, medical marijuana, changes in law for services like Uber, and more.

 

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed the last major piece of this session’s education funding package. Tuesday afternoon they made changes and eventually approved a version of Senate Bill 131.  

State Senators and Representatives support a bill that overhauls the way South Dakota funds public education. It restructures the funding formula and sets a target average teacher salary at $48,500.

Statehouse Podcast: Abortion And Education Among Final Bills

Mar 7, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for March 7th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on abortion, education, and confined animal feedlots.

DWU Plans $1 Million Theater Project

Mar 3, 2016

After dedicating a new sports and wellness center this past month, Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell is now focusing on the arts. The school is planning a $1 million project to build a new theater.

Plans for a new Dakota Wesleyan facility include a black box theater, classrooms, and faculty offices. Lori Essig is the vice president of marketing and communications at Dakota Wesleyan. She says the new theater will replace one of the oldest buildings on campus.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers have had lengthy battles this session over teacher pay, South Dakota’s funding formula, and a sales tax hike for education. Most of the money lawmakers are considering for public schools are mandated for teacher salaries, but a sliver of it is dedicated to increasing eLearning. If lawmakers approve the governor’s plan, the E-learning program could receive a $1 million infusion.

Statehouse Podcast: Abortion, Education, Vehicular Homicide

Mar 2, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for March 2nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on abortion, education, vehicular homicide, elder abuse, CAFOs, and Medicaid expansion. 

Statehouse Podcast: Ed Funding Passes, Transgender Bill Veto

Mar 1, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for Match 1st, 2016 includes stories on the passage of education funding, and a veto of the transgender bathroom bill.  Plus, news on debate over medical marijuana, guns in courthouses, and the sale of fetal body parts.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

A half-penny sales tax increase is one signature away from becoming state law. House Bill 1182 is part of the governor’s plan to overhaul education funding in South Dakota. More than two-thirds of State Senators supported the bill Thursday, and it survived its final legislative hurdle.

A sales tax hike of one-half of one percent is dedicated to increasing teacher pay, adding to tech school instructor salaries, and offering property tax relief.

Chynna Lockett / SDPB

A bill that requires students use school bathrooms that coincide with biological sex is not law. Governor Dennis Daugaard announced Tuesday he vetoed House Bill 1008 hours before the deadline to make a decision.

House Bill 1008 is the so-called transgender bathroom bill. Supporters say the measure protects privacy, because it keeps students of different biological sexes in separate bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers.

Statehouse Podcast: Medicaid Expansion Delay, Education, CAFO Zoning

Feb 29, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for February 29th, 2016 includes coverage of a delay in possible Medicaid expansion, education issues, CAFO zoning changes, and a bill dealing with the sale of fetal body parts.

Dakota Digest for February 26, 2016

Feb 29, 2016

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, education remains the top news in Pierre for the legislative session. Also, Governor Dennis Daugaard discusses medical marijuana and Medicaid expansion.

Jenifer Jones

A sales tax hike for teacher pay and property tax relief faces its final hurdle Monday in the Statehouse. House Bill 1182 is scheduled for debate on the state Senate floor. Ahead of the vote party leaders say they’re weighing all options to increase education funding.

A sales tax increase to boost teacher pay is one vote away from the governor’s desk, but it is not a done deal.

The Statehouse Podcast for February 28th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on transgender bathrooms, possible Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana, and education funding.

Representative Shawn Bordeaux, Mission, and Representative Kevin Killer (Pine Ridge) return to Dakota Midday to discuss the legislative session after crossover day. From education to mascots, from legislation that is succeeding to bills that have been defeated, Bordeaux and Killer talk about what's ahead for the rest of the session.

Every Wednesday we invite some of the top political reporters in the state to discuss the nimble nuances of South Dakota politics. Today, we welcome Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Roger Whittle, managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion.

Today the Political Junkies illuminate a rather dramatic week in the state capitol. From resignations to protests to a hint of success in the quest to raise teacher pay … the Dakota Political Junkies are here to help you make sense of it all.

Lawmakers in the State Senate approve of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s proposal to change the way the state funds public education. Senate Bill 131 includes significant shifts in school funding. Most state senators endorse the plan, but some have reservations about the overhaul.

Statehouse Podcast: Education, Abortion, Medical Marijuana

Feb 23, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for February 23, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on education, abortion, medical marijuana , human trafficking, child pornography, and the transgender bathroom bill.  

Schoenbeck Considers Resignation

Feb 23, 2016

A GOP state lawmaker says he is considering resigning after a disagreement with a party leader.

State Representative Lee Schoenbeck was barred from the Republican Party caucus this week.   

Schoenbeck had been critical on social media of some in the GOP for failing to support the half penny sales tax to boost teacher pay in the state.  That measure passed by one vote.

Some sources reported Schoenbeck planned to resign on Wednesday.

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.

The Statehouse Podcast for February 22nd, 2016 includes coverage legislation dealing with education funding, Native history curriculum, derogatory mascots, and limitations on Medicaid expansion.

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