Thursday, April 9, 2015

Feds salvaging legislature's education scraps

South Dakota's executive doesn't need the legislature's rubber stamp to expand the Medicaid partnerships that would retain teachers and workers.
Federal grants of $270,000 will go toward six South Dakota projects geared toward improving science and mathematics instruction in middle and high schools. [Yankton Press & Dakotan]
More evidence of Gov. Dennis Daugaard's tyranny: a third of qualified teaching grads leave South Dakota while the remainder struggle with certification.
The findings come from the School Administrators of South Dakota, which surveyed all nine of the state’s college programs for aspiring teachers. More than 770 college students reportedly earned a teaching degree at a South Dakota institution, but 260 were placed in an out-of-state job, according to the organization. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Some wonder whether cost of living adjustments could stem the exodus.
“This has me worried,” Dr. Steve Willard, superintendent of the Belle Fourche School District said at the Belle Fourche School Board retreat Monday evening. “We have had 10 openings before, but the openings we have are more difficult to fill.” Willard said that although Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed a Blue Ribbon Taskforce to examine issues with school funding and teacher shortages, he is concerned because at this time there are no teachers or school administrators serving on that force.
Read it here.

From the Huron Daily Plainsman:
A 2 percent boost in state aid to education gets the funding level back to where it was in 2010 prior to the cuts, so South Dakota school districts continue to struggle with teacher retention, Rep. Peggy Gibson, D-Huron, said. Vacancies are often being filled with people not certified to teach. “So that’s a real big problem in our district and throughout the whole state,” Gibson said at the Beadle County Democratic Forum on Thursday.
Read that here.

Patrick Anderson in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:
South Dakota teachers have the lowest average salary in the country, and school districts across the state have reported candidate pools in the single digits and unfilled teaching jobs.
So, don’t hold your breath parents, teachers and employers. The “great teachers” Daugaard predicts for South Dakota probably won’t be flooding our school districts with applications. South Dakota Republican governors and legislators in the past 12 years haven’t solved the funding problem. T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Hollow Men” has a line for that kind of paralysis: “Gesture without motion.” [David Walder]
A concerned or trustworthy US Representative would call out a failed executive like Daugaard.

South Dakota deserves better.

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