Pay raises for teachers not likely according to Legislators
PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota lawmakers remain split on whether they can afford to fund inflationary pay increases for teachers, state employees and community service providers as the legislature looks to finalize the state budget.
Republicans who control the legislature are noncommittal on a 2-percent increase – even as they say they want to see some sort of pay raise.
Democrats said their top priority this year is pushing GOP lawmakers for the 2-percent increase which would be about $32 million.
State GOP leaders say a bump for all three categories is unlikely.
“From my perspective, to get all three to 2% – I don’t think we can do that,” Representative Lee Qualm said. “I think that’s an impossibility unless we really start cutting some place to make that happen, and at this point that would be very difficult to do.”
Many school districts give pay raises to teachers regardless of the budget increases, but must carve out that money from other programs.