Education Takes Center Stage As 2013 South Dakota Legislature Opens
PHOTO: South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is proposing a 3 percent increase for the next school year.
January 8, 2013
PIERRE, S.D. - The 2013 session of the South Dakota Legislature will deal, as usual, with a number of education-related issues. Following a 10 percent cut in funding two years ago, Governor Dennis Daugaard is proposing a 3 percent increase for the next school year.
Sandy Arseneault, president of the South Dakota Education Association, says the union will be involved in those legislative discussions.
"We will still continue the conversation about the 3 percent, whether that's enough to really fund our schools and allow them to do the things they need, and give them the tools they need, and our teachers the tools they need, and the support to create a quality public education for every child."
Arseneault says beyond funding, she hopes this year's Legislature focuses more on pupils, rather than just teachers.
"We're going to really focus on student outcomes, and I think the Department of Education is moving in that same direction. We are kind of excited in hopes that we can all come together and have some good quality conversations about what that means for our kids in South Dakota."
She says she hopes there are some creative ideas that will come from the Legislature to help local school districts help their pupils.
"Right now, of course, the way the laws are written, it is up to individual school districts, but I think as we move the direction forward, what that looks like I am not going to speculate, but I hope that we can find some common ground all the way around."
Voters last November defeated a comprehensive education reform plan that would have placed more importance on teacher evaluations, and provided competitive financial incentives.