SD School Superintendents respond to budget address
PIERRE, S.D. — The Executive Board of the South Dakota School Superintendents Association (SDSSA) announced a statement critiquing Governor Kristi Noem’s budget address.
In the Wednesday statement, the SDSSA addressed the challenges school districts are facing, including the difficulty faced in implementing the 2016 Blue Ribbon Task Force Recommendation, which was passed into law by the state legislature. The 2016 law set up a variety of avenues for the state to increase teachers’ salaries and regularly increase the salaries to keep the region’s “best and brightest teachers” in South Dakota.
Among the avenues created was the designation of $63 million in on-going money for teacher’s salaries that moved South Dakota out of “51st” in the nation, along with a series of tax and appropriation reforms.
Another aspect of the law established that the “Target Teacher Salary” in the state would increase annually by the Consumer Price Index or by 3%, whichever is less. This would ensure that South Dakota’s teacher salaries would remain competitive in the region.
However, according to the SDSSA’s statement, the 2018 legislature failed to increase teacher salaries enough, and Gov. Noem’s 2019 proposal calls for a 0% increase in teacher salaries.
As a result of this, South Dakota School Superintendents have called for the legislature to meet the 2% cost of living factor addressed in statute, in order to meet the learning needs of South Dakota students.
For further details on the School Superintendent’s response, read the SDSSA statement here: SDSSA-Press-Release-Dec-4-2019