PNS Daily Newscast - December 13, 2018 

Trump 'fixer' Michael Cohen gets three years, and Trump calls him a liar. Also on the Thursday rundown: Higher smoking rates cause some states to fall in health rankings; and the Farm Bill helps wilderness areas.

Daily Newscasts

SD Schools Celebrate American Education Week

The most recent data indicates $11,762 is spent nationally on public education per student, while South Dakota spends $9,176. (
The most recent data indicates $11,762 is spent nationally on public education per student, while South Dakota spends $9,176. (
November 15, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota's children attend school for 6-to-7 hours each day for 180 days a year, and it takes a dedicated contingent of specialists and support staff to help them learn, keep them safe, and provide experiences for successful adulthood.

This is American Education Week, acknowledging that all children regardless of where they live or their circumstances deserve the opportunity to succeed in school.

Mary McCorkle, president of the South Dakota Education Association, says the impact of public education is lifelong.

"Public education is the great equalizer, and it doesn't matter what a child's ZIP code is,” she stresses. “Every child deserves the best public education possible and that ensures that we have a democracy."

The average ACT college admission composite score for South Dakota students is up slightly this year from 2017 and remains above the national average.

In other good news, 77 percent of 2018 graduates took the ACT, compared with 55 percent nationally.

McCorkle says the week celebrates not just teachers, but children’s first teachers, their parents and the support professionals who help students achieve their goals.

"We celebrate our education professionals, we celebrate our school secretaries, our custodians, our bus drivers, our clerical staff, food service, because they are the ones who greet our students first in the morning and they're an integral part of education," she states.

At 84 percent, high school graduation rates in the U.S. are at an all-time high. And more than four out of five high school students earn a diploma in four years, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

South Dakota's 83.9 percent graduation rate is nearly identical to the national average.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - SD