Education

Native History Bill Fails, Opponents Say Issue Still Important

Feb 22, 2016

Legislation to require more teaching of tribal history in South Dakota schools failed its first committee hearing in the State Legislature.  
 
Some educators say an effort is already underway to increase the teaching of Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota culture in the state.  Those backing the bill say more needs to be done.

 

Jenifer Jones

Lawmakers are endorsing a sales tax increase for teacher pay. House Bill 1182 adds one half-penny to the state’s sales tax to generate money for education and property tax relief. The measure failed by one vote last week. Monday it succeeded by the same margin.

Bill Ends Offensive School Names, Mascots

Feb 22, 2016

A bill that creates a process to ban racially charged school or athletic team names, mascots, or nicknames, is moving forward in the South Dakota Legislature.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

Members of South Dakota’s legislature say they have to do something for education funding this session, but they don’t agree on how to fund any changes.

The Statehouse Podcast for February 19th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on education funding, transgender bathrooms, and payday loan regulations.

 

Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Two bills that establish new guidelines for education funding in South Dakota move on to full consideration in the State Senate. This happened as members of the state House approve a reconsideration of a defeated sales tax increase to pay for the programs.

Statehouse Podcast: Ed Funding & Hemp Bills Die

Feb 18, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for February 2nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on education funding, hemp, and vehicular homicide.

Jenifer Jones

One vote on the House floor Thursday killed a sales tax increase that supports teacher pay. A tax hike requires a super-majority, so the bill needed support from 47 state representatives. It got 46. The vote is official but it’s not the end of the discussion. 

House Bill 1182 is the governor’s legislation to add one half of one penny to the state’s sales tax. That generates $67 million for education and $40 million for property tax relief.

Ed Funding Plans Compete At Statehouse

Feb 18, 2016

As a bill to increase the sales tax to benefit teacher pay trudges through the Statehouse, some Republican lawmakers are floating an alternative plan that doesn’t raise taxes. House Bill 1182 adds one half percent to the state sales tax. Lawmakers twice used a procedural rule to delay the bill. It’s on this afternoon’s House calendar.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

A Republican leader says lawmakers working to raise teacher pay have a major concern: accountability. Republicans – and Democrats at the Statehouse want to make sure that any money earmarked for teacher pay isn’t funneled elsewhere by schools. Lawmakers are trying to figure out the best way to make this happen.

House Majority Leader Brian Gosch says Republicans in Pierre want to ensure school districts use any funding boost for teacher salaries on teacher salaries.

Jenifer Jones

A measure known as the transgender bathroom bill is on its way to the governor’s desk. House Bill 1008 survived the State Senate on Tuesday. Fifteen lawmakers in that chamber oppose the legislation, but 20 support it.

Supporters of the so-called transgender bathroom bill say it protects student privacy by securing restrooms for opposite biological sexes. The bill determines sex based on anatomy and birth certificates. State Senator Brock Greenfield supports the measure.

Jenifer Jones

Teachers from across the state say they’re traveling to Pierre to support education funding, yet not everyone is convinced the move is right. A leading lawmaker and the president of a statewide teachers’ organization have different perspectives on the effect of educators turning up at the Statehouse. Still teachers plan to show up this week for debate in Piere. 

Dakota Digest for February 12, 2016

Feb 12, 2016

The state legislature has passed a transgender bathroom bill to the Senate floor. It will be voted on next week, and if it passes, it will go to Governor Dennis Daugaards desk. Also, the Governor's education bill has been delayed until next week. State Gymnastics is also underway at the Swiftel Center in Brookings on Friday and Saturday. All of this and more on this week's edition of Dakota Digest.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A bill that mandates accommodations for transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools is on its way to the state Senate floor. An education committee Thursday voted to pass House Bill 1008. Supporters say the measure protects students’ privacy. Opponents say it’s discrimination.

The governor's plan to overhaul education funding continues to be key legislation during the 2016 Session. SDPB's Kealey Bultena has been following education topics closely as the process to raise teacher salaries continues to unfold and, some fear, unravel in Pierre. Bultena joins Lori Walsh to talk about the progress of HB1182 (a bill to increase the sales tax in order to sustainably fund education), rule 5-17, which was used to delay debate of the bill this week, and HB1008, a bill that seeks to redefine bathroom use for transgender students.

Jenifer Jones

Debate on a possible tax hike to fund education is stalled in the State House until next week. Educators who support more money for teacher pay packed the gallery at the Statehouse. As Representatives started work on part of a new education plan for South Dakota, discussion stopped when a fraction of lawmakers invoked a special rule.

Lawmakers in Pierre reject a measure that requires parents opt in to education related to human sexuality. House Bill 1168 mandates parents provide written permission before a student participates in any education related to sex ed, abstinence or human sexuality. That includes specific courses but also units in required classes such as biology.

State Representative Tom Holmes is a former classroom teacher.

Jenifer Jones

A bill that eliminates an activities policy on transgender students is halfway through the Statehouse. House Bill 1112 voids the transgender policy the South Dakota High School Activities Association has in place. Lawmakers in Pierre amended the measure during debate.

Several South Dakota lawmakers say they understand school leaders want a consistent, clear policy for transgender students, but legislators disagree about who should institute the guidelines and what they should include.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre support the first element of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s proposal to infuse more money into schools for teacher pay. House Bill 1182 is one of three bills that compose the K-12 education funding plan. The bill authorizes a sales and use tax increase of one half of one percent.  

Statehouse Podcast: LGBT Civil Rights & Religious Freedom, Abortion Regulations, Ed Funding

Feb 8, 2016
SDPB

The Statehouse Podcast for February 8th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on: abortion regulations, education funding, religious freedom and LGBT civil rights, open meetings, and a courthouse and capitol enhanced conceal carry bill.

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for Sunday, February 7th includes coverage of legislation on medical marijuana, Medicaid expansion, education funding, and government accountability. 

 

State lawmakers killed a bill Thursday that allows science teachers to incorporate information outside the approved curriculum to help students analyze and learn. Supporters of the measure say it gives teachers power to facilitate understanding; opponents question whether the measure solves a real problem.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

A measure that allows lawmakers to review the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s social policy is dead. Some legislators support House Bill 1111 as a means to regulate issues related to transgender students among other matters. The argument on the bill in committee centered on the whether the activities association qualifies as a state agency.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

A new perspective on education funding is working its way through the State Capitol, but some say it’s an uphill battle. This year Governor Dennis Daugaard is proposing an overhaul of the way the state funds education. His plan includes a half-penny increase in the sales tax and a change in the way schools get funding. The plan requires two-thirds of the state’s lawmakers to approve a tax increase in an election year.

Dakota Digest for January 29, 2016

Jan 29, 2016
SDPB

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, the state legislature has concluded its work for the month of January. This week the top topics were Transgender students and bathrooms in public schools, education, medicaid expansion, and daylight savings time.

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. 


Statehouse Podcast: Daylight Savings Time, District Boundaries And Lockdown Practice

Jan 26, 2016
Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for January 26th, 2016 includes stories on: a proposed change to daylight savings time, regulations for changing school district boundaries, a bill that requires lockdown practice in schools, and more.

Jenifer Jones

The Legislative Podcast for January 25th, 2016 includes stories on an effort to change the policy on transgender bathrooms and locker rooms in schools.  You can find more from opponents, and proponents who were interviewed on SDPB’s Dakota Midday.   This podcast also includes updates on legislation to mandate a meningitis vaccine for entry in school and an effort

A bill outlining which students can use which bathrooms in South Dakota schools is past its first legislative hurdle. The House State Affairs committee Monday approved House Bill 1008. Supporters of the measure say it protects student privacy; opponents say the move harms students who are transgender.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers are trying to figure out the best way to fund education in 151 different South Dakota school districts. And that might be especially difficult when it comes to small schools. Bills with the language of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s plan to increase teacher pay are not yet filed in Pierre. Right now lawmakers are working off of explanations from the governor’s State of the State speech and the Department of Education. Members of the legislature are determining what revamping the K-12 funding formula means for small schools and whether leaders are starting in the right place.

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