Which S.D. school districts pay teachers the best, worst

Sioux Falls is no longer elite when it comes to teacher pay in South Dakota. That’s due in large part to the retirement of hundreds of veteran teachers over the last few years and last year’s state funding cut.

Between 2010 and 2012, Sioux Falls fell from 3rd in average teacher pay to 6th and then 11th. The district is 42nd this year in base salary.

The state’s largest city remains an attractive place to teach, but they have competition.

The teachers and school district will negotiate a new multi-year contract once the legislative session wraps up.

The other thing that struck me about these figures from the Department of Education is what’s going on in Yankton. They failed to pass a big opt-out, then had to make some pretty painful cuts after the Legislature cut state aid. Why? They pay their teachers a lot – relative to the rest of the state, anyway.

South Dakota has 151 public school districts. Here are the ones that pay best and worst.

Average salary, 2011-12

Douglas, $47,438

Shannon County, $44,799

Yankton, $44,422

Lead-Deadwood, $43,761

Rapid City, $43,441

Watertown, $43,352

Hill City, $42,793

Custer, $42,592

Mitchell, $42,120

Lyman, $41,851

Sioux Falls, $41,743

… Brandon Valley, $40,122 (17th)

… Harrisburg, $36,259 (56th)

… Tea Area, $34,734 (91st)

… Summit, $30,180

Gayville-Volin, $30,117

Hurley, $29,428

Iroquois, $28,945

Rutland, $27,093 (151st)

And here are the base salaries, 2012-13

Yankton, $35,870

Shannon County, $35,505

Lyman, $34,533

Lead-Deadwood, $34,317

Eagle Butte, $33,620

Dupree, $33,450

Timber Lake, $33,300

Lemmon, $33,250

Mitchell, $33,000

Brandon Valley, $32,970

… Harrisburg, $32,500 (16th)

… Sioux Falls, $30,680 (42nd)

… Tea Area, $30,600 (47th)

… Faith, $26,600

Oldham-Ramona, $26,500

Leola, $26,500

Wessington Springs, $26,350

Rutland, $22,000 (151st)