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SD Petition Drive Launched over Federal Education Dollars

November 1, 2010

PIERRE, S.D. - The state of South Dakota got over $26 million from the education jobs bill passed by Congress in August. However, state officials have said the money will be placed in the state's general fund, and won't directly go to schools.

South Dakota Education Association President Sandy Arseneault says the group does not believe the state is following the intent of Congress.

"There were specific guidelines as to how the state could meet the maintenance of effort, and the other thing we are very concerned about is that we're not using the money as the bill intended it to be used."

Arseneault says they are posting the petition online so teachers and others can express their frustrations with the use of the federal funding. Those petitions will be forwarded to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Arseneault says teachers are frustrated with continued tight budgets, and with the way that is affecting students.

"They don't like the inability to get the tools that they need in their buildings, the support that we know that, if educators get, they can do their job well. Those things, programs that have been cut for students, there should have been the opportunity to replace some of those, if that money had been distributed to local school districts as it was intended."

The petition is online at www.sdea.org>/a>

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD