Teacher Pay

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers say they want to adjust parts of last year’s education overhaul. The governor says the current reform is working, because a sales tax for teacher pay is pushing average educator salaries up.  

One piece of vast K-12 education reform from 2016’s legislative session involves declining enrollment. Schools now must use the final number of students enrolled in the fall to determine their share of state dollars. Before they could average the previous two years to ease into lower funding.

Dakota Digest August 5, 2016

Aug 5, 2016
SDPB

This week, school officials are calling for tweaks to teacher pay legislation. Also, School Administrators are reflecting on the Harrisburg school shooting from last year. And a wind cave ranger celebrates 50 years with the National Park Service. All of this and more on this week's episode of Dakota Digest. 

ASBSD/SASD
Erin Mairose

Some education officials are calling for clean-up legislation following last year’s teacher pay raises.  

Educators from across the state gathered Thursday in Sioux Falls at the ­­­­Associated School Boards and School Administrators Convention

Joy Smolnisky is with the South Dakota Budget and Policy Institute. She says now that the half cent sales tax to raise teacher salaries is signed into law, the legislation needs to be adjusted to clarify how the pay increase is implemented.  

Kenzie Wagner / SDPB

The Rapid City Board of Education met Monday evening to impose a teacher’s salary contract.  The move comes following a disagreement between the school board and the teacher’s union.  But teachers decided to forgo mediation and move forward.  

The Rapid City School Board plans to use the new half penny sales tax increase to boost the salaries of new teachers.  The plan includes smaller increases for veteran or higher degree holding teachers.

One Architect Of Teacher Pay Increase Falls In Primary

Jun 8, 2016

A key state lawmaker who helped draft the plan to increase teacher pay in South Dakota is not going back to Pierre next session.

Republican State Representative Jacqueline Sly failed to achieve enough votes in the primary race against incumbent State Senator Phil Jensen.

Sly was a co-chair of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force and a key supporter of the half cent sales tax increase passed last year by lawmakers.   Jensen is among 10 state senators who voted against the final passage of the bill.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota School Districts are deciding how to dole out more money for teacher pay. State lawmakers passed a tax increase to raise educator salaries. Now school leaders must choose how to distribute the money in their districts. In Sioux Falls, the board has unanimously approved a 6.8 percent increase for teachers.

Education Students Weigh In On Teacher Pay

Apr 25, 2016

This year state lawmakers gave South Dakota teachers a pay raise. Part of the goal is to attract and retain top young teachers. Many of those aspiring teachers gathered for an SDEA conference in Vermillion recently.

What does the increase in teacher pay mean for South Dakota college students who are studying education? Here are answers from three of them.

“I think it’s good, teachers deserve to get paid more," says Callie Jarmen.

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.

Dakota Digest for March 4, 2016

Mar 4, 2016
SDPB

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, Governor Dennis Daugaard has veto'd the transgender bathroom bill. Also, the half-penny teacher pay bill has now passed both the senate and house and awaits the Governor's signature. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Jenifer Jones

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

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. 

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.

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.  

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.

State lawmakers working on policies to increase teacher pay are weighing accountability and local control. The two concepts clash as legislators look at a plan to raise the sales tax for teacher salary increases – even among Republicans who control both chambers of South Dakota’s legislature.

A poll commissioned by Governor Dennis Daugaard indicates at least 71 percent of likely voters approve of his plan to raise the sales tax one half-cent to increase teacher salaries.

Dakota Digest for January 22, 2016

Jan 22, 2016
SDPB

On this week's episode of Dakota Digest, the state legislative session continues with Week 2. SDPB's Kealey Bultena continues to report on the topic of education, and what is being discussed regarding the pay of teachers. Also, SDPB's Jim Kent attends an Eagle Feather Ceremony on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Kealey Bultena

Public school administrators are telling teachers a plan to increase the average teacher salary to more than $48,500 doesn’t mean pay raises across the board. Governor Dennis Daugaard wants to boost education funding by raising the sales tax by a half cent. 

South Dakota’s Blue Ribbon Task Force determined that teacher pay in South Dakota is behind surrounding states by thousands of dollars. Now lawmakers must decide on the right mechanism for funding K-12 education and how much money school districts should receive.

There are 85 Republicans and 20 Democrats in the South Dakota Legislature. Although one party has a clear majority, leaders say with issues like Medicaid expansion and tax increases, both sides need to work together to accomplish goals.

SDPB's Kealey Bultena digs in to the details of education reform, breaking down the numbers for Governor Dennis Duagaard's proposed teacher salary increase and highlighting reaction from lawmakers and educators. She also lets teachers and parents know what to expect going forward and how to be a part of the lawmaking process.

State of South Dakota

Stakeholders examining education funding in the state are working on final recommendations to the governor. Thursday is the final meeting of South Dakota’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. Members met throughout the summer and fall to understand challenges related to K-12 education.

State of South Dakota

Leaders are examining how South Dakota can improve public education. Tuesday lawmakers and education stakeholders on the Blue Ribbon Task Force met in Pierre to review the ways tax dollars fuel education and how the state compares to its neighbors when funding schools and teachers.

South Dakota has an issue with teacher salaries. That’s the position of a senior analyst with the Education Commission of the States.

People from South Dakota are gearing up for the National Education Association’s annual meeting and assembly. This week a group of teachers, education supporters, students, and retired teachers travel to Orlando, Florida. They hope to gain insights from fellow educators from all over the country.

Leaders of the South Dakota Education Association say they fight for every single student to have the opportunity for strong, comprehensive education – both at the state level and nationally.