Governor’s Ed proposals out.

Governor Daugaard’s proposals for increasing teacher pay are out and available for review, according to KCCR radio:

HB 1182 would increase the sales tax by a half-penny and dedicate $40 million for property tax relief. The new revenue would increase South Dakota’s average teacher salary from $40,000 to a target average of $48,500.

SB 131 establishes a new funding formula and requires that 90 percent of new funding go specifically to teacher pay. The bill also imposes new caps on school general reserve funds and on the growth of capital outlay levies.

SB 133 includes a number of proposals to recruit and retain more teachers and to create new opportunities for school efficiency.

Read it all here.

What do you think?

18 thoughts on “Governor’s Ed proposals out.

  1. Springer

    In regard to HB1182, how do we know that if the half penny sales tax is enacted that the promise will be kept to lower the property taxes?

    We need a lawyer to translate all the parts of SB131 in regard to the change in the formula.

    Under Section 4 of SB131 it reads, “Target teacher salary for school fiscal year 2017 is $48,500. Each school fiscal year thereafter, the target teacher salary is the previous fiscal year’s target teacher salary increased by the index factor [at most 3%]; Target teacher benefits is the target teacher salary multiplied by twenty-nine percent; Target teacher compensation is the sum of the target teacher salary and the target teacher benefits;” So in actuality a target teacher’s salary the first year would be $48,500 plus $14,065 worth of benefits or $62,565. Not bad for 9 months of work.

  2. Springer

    In regard to SB133 I think part of the reason for people not wanting to go into the teaching profession is the lack of authority and respect they now have in the classroom. They have little latitude to discipline a student, and many of the students have no respect for the teachers. It makes for a difficult situation for both the teacher and the other students who behave and are there to learn. While I feel this bill is good, there is nothing in it to address this issue.

    1. Springer

      Teaching is made more difficult but the lack of respect for and lack of ability to discipline students in the classroom. I simply said those are two of the reasons that people might think twice before choosing to become a teacher. Teaching as a whole is no more difficult than many other occupations, and easier and less dangerous than many.

      And I just wanted to point out that the target salary plus benefits in the governor’s proposal is high compared to the wages of many other occupations in the state in which the employees have to work 50-52 weeks a year.

  3. Charlie Hoffman

    Springer you just nailed the reluctance of many to sign on knowing property owners today are feeling like pawns in an ever growing assessed value VS mill levy battle. Ag land owners are in reality today paying property taxes on assumed production influenced by $7 corn. The shift from State funded education to property owners funding education has been slowly creeping up and many are questioning the judgment of moving to a Production Value property tax. Any sales tax increase must include a rock solid deduction in property taxes or it is DOA in my opinion.
    Lots of moving parts to this and it will be very interesting to see just what our Legislature finalizes which encompasses the Governor’s Blue Ribbon task forces recommendations.

  4. Anonymous

    Springer, if the salary is so good, why is there a such shortage of teachers? Why are schools not able to staff positions for students’ classes?

  5. Cliff Hadley

    Springer, Charlie and Anonymous 11:26…

    One reason average teacher pay is where its at is pretty blatant, namely that teachers and administrators in small towns are already at the top of the salary scale in their communities. Combined with the traditional tradeoff of generous health and retirement benefits, teachers already make the equivalent of nearly $30 an hour. School boards rightly feel they would be crucified if they suddenly jacked up pay by 20 percent.

    Salary definitely affects career choices, but it’s one reason among a dozen why people don’t go into teaching. The unspoken reason is popular culture itself. Songs, movies and books have denigrated teachers for a couple generations now. And the teachers unions have been among the loudest in saying what a lousy deal they have. The corrosive effect is incalculable.

      1. Cliff Hadley

        Yup. The union is so bad, only 20 percent of South Dakota public school teachers are paying members.

      1. Cliff Hadley

        Anonymous 9:30…

        Nothing wrong with my math. The figure is from Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Fun fact: Average teacher in America earns more per hour than architects.)

        At $40K per year average, working 25% fewer hours annually than the general public, South Dakota teachers are paid an average base of $25/hour. Add in benefits — which are better than most in the public who pay for the schools — and $30 an hour is actually low. South Dakota teachers’ average pay is comparable to what I make in my retail business, only I work 350 days a year, not 180, so my hourly pay is less than what I pay my staff. Not complaining, just the facts of life in business.

        One more thing: At one time, I was a high school English teacher, too. Again, I knew to the penny what the public was paying me. I tried always to justify their confidence and earn my salary.

  6. Michael Wyland

    As I’ve said elsewhere, be careful when tying dollars to student-teacher ratios. Some districts use “teachers on special assignment” as administrators while still counting them as teachers.

    The teacher shortage isn’t about kids not choosing teaching as a career. It’s about retaining qualified teachers in the classroom. In fact, there would be no teacher shortage in the US (and no nursing shortage, for that matter) if all credentialed professionals continued working in their profession.

    Retention challenges are partially monetary. New teachers receive low wages and relatively low benefits, often while struggling with student loans and other debt. A job paying an extra $5,000 a year looks like a quantum leap forward (or up). Some districts negotiate pay scales that favor teachers employed for a long time in the district, further restricting the budget available for new teachers.

    Retention challenges are partially environmental. People don’t quit their professions or their employers; they quit their bosses. It’s depressingly common for a new teacher to have his or her soul crushed by their building principal or superintendent.

    Other challenges are sometimes regulatory. Some SD school districts penalize previously-employed teachers who leave employment and later decide to return. How? By insisting they return without the benefits of seniority or credit for their previous time in service with the school district.

    Some times and places are better than others, but, historically, teaching has never been a well-paying profession. Besides, more money doesn’t keep good people working in bad jobs. What keeps any employee productive and happy is what Marcus Buckingham discovered in his work with the Gallup Organization. Do I know what is expected of me at work? Do I have the tools necessary to do my job? In the last seven days, have I received praise or recognition for my work contributions? Do my opinions seem to count? There are other questions (12 key ones, in fact), but you get the idea.

    1. Cliff Hadley

      Excellent points, Mr. Wyland. Question for you…

      Is there any discussion to require smaller districts to co-op on administrators? It’s expensive for tiny districts to maintain a tier of superintendents and building principals. It’s more efficient to base administration entirely on number of students, and not per district. So two or three districts could share a single superintendent. Or is such sharing going on already?

      1. Charlie Hoffman

        Cliff Rep. David Lust tried that a few years ago. Education Committee Chair Ed McLaughlin gave him one pity Yea vote. But times have changed and tax payers are getting tired of ever increasing property taxes.

  7. Anne Beal

    So this week I discovered that two young men, both graduates of the Lyman County High School, have never read the Declaration of Independence and didn’t know our rights come from God.

    At this moment in time I am not inclined to support paying teachers more money. If they want more money they’ll have to earn it.