For a change, public school lobbyists are rather pleased with the Legislature this year.
K-12 schools are expected to get the 3 percent ongoing increase in per-student formula funding next year that Gov. Daugaard recommended. They also should get another $45 per student in one-time bonus money this school year – that’s an extra 1 percent increase in the current year’s formula funding.
Other school-related candidates for funding include Teach For America; scholarships for poor college students; scholarships for teaching candidates who take hard-to-fill jobs; and a grant program for the innovative use of technology.
Things could change, but as of March 6, the lobbyists were happy.
Mitch Richter, SD United Schools Assn (18:45): “I do think the Legislature really recognizes the schools are in dire straits, and they are looking for some help. And I think the Legislature really bent over backwards this year to try to find some money, to try to work with us, and I think that is a good sign going forward.”
SASD’s Rob Monson on the Building South Dakota fund (19:50): “A lot of what we discussed ended up in the final print, which for me was fantastic. … Get out there and thank your people. I know it’s going to be hard to do sometimes because we all want to see that ongoing funding but this is a new day, this is a new era, I think this is more of what the new model of vehicle is going to look like.”