Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 23, 2018 


The Mueller probe lands another cooperating witness. Also on the rundown: The GAO gives a green light for CHIP cuts; and hurricane experts say – don’t let down guard down.

Daily Newscasts

South Dakota Teachers Continue Push for Pay Raise

South Dakota's largest teachers union supports Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plan for raising the state sales tax to boost teacher pay. (iStock)
South Dakota's largest teachers union supports Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plan for raising the state sales tax to boost teacher pay. (iStock)
January 20, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. - In the wake of a proposal to improve South Dakota's lowest-in-the-nation teacher pay, teachers groups are continuing to talk with lawmakers about what that could look like.

The state's largest teachers union is backing Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plan for a half-cent sales tax increase to boost teacher pay to a competitive level.

Mary McCorkle, president of the South Dakota Education Association, says even if lawmakers don't back that plan specifically, she's hopeful they will approve a sustainable and ongoing way to raise teacher salaries.

"As we move through session, there will be a lot of conversation about what that funding looks like and how much funding is the right amount of funding, because there are a number of proposals that are already floating around out there," says Daugaard.

The School Administrators of South Dakota also backs Daugaard's plan. His idea would raise about $78 million to go towards raising the average teacher salary to about $48,000 a year.

Although both teachers groups acknowledge a sales tax could be a hard sell to some lawmakers, they say something needs to done to keep teachers from leaving South Dakota. Since the state does not have individual or corporate income taxes, McCorkle notes there aren't a lot of options to raise new revenue outside of the sales tax.

"We're at a point in education where there is a crisis," she says. "We can do nothing, and we will lose more and more teachers to other states. Fewer students will go into teaching, and our students will have fewer opportunities."

South Dakota lawmakers have until March to decide on one of several proposals to raise teacher wages. The governor's plan would need at least a two-thirds approval to pass.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - SD