Daugaard's education proposals

I’ve spent some time thinking over Governor Daugaard’s education proposal. I commend him for his efforts and the ideas intended to jumpstart our flatlined education scores across the state.

When it comes to elimination of tenure, I would hope the legislature passes this portion of the plan. Anyone in any career should be able to be dismissed if they are not meeting the standards the job requires. I find it absurd that any segment of our population gets this kind of protection simply because they are teachers. Unlike Daugaard who wants to take away tenure for only the incoming teachers, I would remove it for everyone. Holding a job should be purely based on performance, not length of employment.

When I get to the issue of merit pay, I can be persuaded either direction. The way I understand it, this plan would not change teacher pay but would make certain teachers eligible to earn bonuses. Unfortunately, I believe many of the factors that make teaching difficult are caused by government regulation, school politics, and family background.

Finally I am dead set against paying math and science teachers a $3,500 bonus simply for being a math or science teacher. What if they are the worst teachers in the school? Why should they automatically recieve the bonus just for showing up? How is this either bonus or merit based if everyone who teaches particular subjects gets more money every year? What does it say about the other subjects where teachers actually have to earn their bonus when math and science teachers automatically recieve a substantial pay increase and then are able to compete with other teachers for the merit pay bonus?

17 Replies to “Daugaard's education proposals”

  1. Anonymous

    HB 1145 will remove all tenure if passed. Call your legislators because it will come to a vote in committee this week.

  2. duggersd

    About that premium. I am not necessarily against it. It appears there is a shortage of a certain type of teacher. The law of supply and demand would suggest that if a premium was paid for that subject, more people would apply. Yes, you might get the world’s worst teacher. But then I always thought the was what the interview process was for. If the teacher proves to be bad, there are remedies for that. It appears to me the governor is trying to apply market solutions.
    BTW, I am a teacher and no, I do not teach Math or Science. However I do make more than most teachers due to my special skill. If someone else wants to make the extra money I make, they might try to acquire the special skill I have.

  3. troy jones

    I am 100% convinced the Governor’s plan is a component of improving schools AND morale of our teachers.

    1) Tenure: I agree. It is an anachronism.

    2) Math/Science Bonus: We have a shortage in this area and literally hundreds of unemployed teachers from other disciplines in Sioux Falls. Higher pay for science and math would encourage new teachers to give additional consideration to these subject areas.

    3) Merit Pay: Read what those opposed say.
    a) Diminish collaboration. If this is true, teachers aren’t in it for the kids and they petty and immature. I don’t think our teachers are this ill-motivated.
    b) Won’t be done fair: I guess it exposes maybe our administrators aren’t competent. People with alot less management training and lower pay throughout society are able to administer bonuses w/o the hue and cry. Personally, I’m incensed by the reaction of administrators. They are almost admitting they can’t/don’t want to manage/evaluate teachers. Bosses get respect when they manage and lead. This has been a gross lack of leadership.

      1. insomniac

        Do you guys think the legislature is split on this right now? The schools are applying the preasure and it’s not going over well around the state. At least to the people I talk with.

  4. troy jones

    P.S. I give kudos to Secretary Schopp for being the lead on this. She is a former teacher and getting raked over the coals with personal attacks. Innovation takes big “balls” and she has them.

  5. Anonymous

    I can’t support paying math teachers more either. I have had bad math teachers and really good english teachers. I think a good teacher is priceless but a bad one shouldn’t be able to work for free.

    No to paying science teachers more.

    1. caheidelberger

      Well, we’re not “priceless” — I’ll settle for a price tag just the $9000 more necessary to bring us the same wage as our equally hard-working counterparts in North Dakota. Deal?

        1. Anonymous

          And I don’t think French is important. Maybe if it was english or spanish i’d warrant a bonus but for purely frivolous french I doubt it.

          Not that it’s not nice to learn but I’d rather drill for oil through your backyard first so we can justify the cost.

          (how many south dakotans speak french? – it’s a frivolous language)

      1. duggersd

        When I went into teaching, I knew what the salaries were like. I went into teaching after being in the private sector. If I was not satisfied with what I made, I would either go do something else or go someplace else. I enjoy what I do and when I retire, I will probably find something else to enjoy.

  6. Anonymous

    Where is the “due process” for other employees? Tenure is nothing more then a union rule in a right-to-work state and it needs to be done away with.

  7. Oldguy

    Cory should head to North Dakota so he can get paid what he feels he is wroth. Last time I checked ND had a billion dollar surplus due to OIL.

    1. insomniac

      Old Guy

      You know Cory is against oil don’t you? I can’t imagine he is in favor of teachers getting paid with money taxed off of oil.

  8. Anonymous

    Daugaard’s staff put this legislation and legislators in a tough spot when the sprung this on them. I can’t believe they did it without a study committee or discussing it with leadership.

    Not surprised Dusty and Venhuizen would act like a think tank instead of a legislative body.

  9. Clay Bill

    If the governor is truly interested in improving schools and morale, he’d be working at playing a bit of “catch up” to try to get schools even a bit close to even in the area of school funding. Since 1995, state law requires that state aid increase by 3.5 percent or the rate of inflation, which ever is less, annually. For the last two, and it appears for this year, too, the Legislature and governor have and will fragrantly be breaking that law. Two years ago, school districts received zero from the state — no increase at all. Last year, it appeared they were going to receive a 10 percent cut. Thanks to a last minute scramble and the use of one time funds, that cut was reduced to between 6 and 7 percent. I don’t have the state aid figure that’s been discussed for this year at my fingertips, but I believe it’s been stated that any increase in state aid is expected to be miniscule.
    The problem isn’t tenure, nor is it pushback from school administrators, nor is it French teachers. School board members and administrators have been struggling since the latter years of the Rounds administration just to try to keep their districts’ budgets in the black because the state has decided it’s okay to break the law when it comes to school funding. Many, many school districts have cut to the bone and been forced to opt out of the property tax freeze to continue to offer a quality education. Which means local taxpayers are taking on a greater and greater burden when it comes to funding education while the state abdicates its responsibility.
    Anyone who concludes that what’s going on now will improve schools and boost teacher morale is living in a dream world.