PNS Daily Newscast - May 25, 2020 

Updates on Memorial Day 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic; and tomorrow is a deadline for some voters.

2020Talks - May 25, 2020 

Overseas service members and people with physical disabilities will be able to vote online this year in West Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey. Election security experts have some concerns.

SD Legislative Challenge: Closing the Education Funding Gap

February 23, 2007

Education funding is a top priority for the South Dakota legislature this year. The issue gained attraction last year following the release of a study by the South Dakota Alliance for Education that shows the state's education system is under-funded by nearly $103 million. SDEA president Donna DeKraai said her group realizes it's a difficult task for policymakers to find the money, and her group appreciates the efforts being made.

"We understand that it's very difficult for the legislature to provide that kind of money in one year. So, there is a huge gap right now. But, we are willing to work to get closer to that amount. But, I won't lie about it; we are not close to what is actually needed to fund public education in this state."

The Association supports Senate Bill 157, which is a measure that provides school funding along with safeguards for small schools that could face forced consolidation.

"They are very important to the growth of our state. We have a lot of small communities. And they are a vital part of those communities. So, in Senate Bill 157, as it left the floor of the Senate, we're quite comfortable right now."

DeKraai credits last year's adequacy study for moving the discussion forward.

"That's what we needed. We truly need to find out how much it does cost to educate a child in the state of South Dakota. The SDEA truly believes that's what that information has given us, by conducting the study. And we still believe very much in that study."

DeKraai is confident the public still wants funding to improve education, and she's hopeful the legislature can continue to make progress on the issue.

David Law/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - SD