Group wants to land HB1234 on the ballot

It has been said,”Politics can make Strange Bedfellows.”

Education Reform bill HB1234 domanated the disscussion at the capitol this year.  It was most reported on bill thourgh out the session.  The bill has been amended and changed.  Now it’s final version sits on the Governor’s desk to be signed, and that’s that, right?

The South Dakota Education Association announced Wednesday that it plans to refer a controversial reform bill to the voters in November.

If successful in their efforts to get the issue on the ballot, voters would decide the fate of House Bill 1234, a sweeping education reform bill approved by the Legislature.

Read it here:

Group wants to land ed reform on ballot.

I agree with Govonor Dugaard,  we need to encrouge our students to do better.   His plan in a nutshell, if the students do well, the teachers will as well, and we will encrouge them with bounses.  If the students don’t do well,  the teachers will be encrouged to move on.  I do not agree the state should be playing such a large role, or a one size fits all approach.  Even the final version of the bill, takes too much from the local school boards.

The state can and should encrouge teachers in mathmatics and the sciences,  these are extremelly tough subjects to teach.  However, it should be done in concert with the local school boards.

I like the intent of HB1234, to get our school teaching again,  I do not like the way it goes about it.  More discussion is needed, with school boards, teachers and parents.  We don’t need some bill that was ramrodded through, just to pass a bill.

No one can take advantage of you, unless you give them permission

It appears the school board, and teachers figured out what this means.

55 Replies to “Group wants to land HB1234 on the ballot”

  1. caheidelberger

    Thank you, MC! Let’s shut this bill down and come back to the table next year with better ideas more directly tied to supporting and improving the excellent performance we already get from our teachers at bargain prices.

    1. MC Post author

      Are the end times near? Did the Vikings win the Superbowl? Are there pigs flying? It is not often that Corey and I agree about education policy; when it happens I have to check to make sure I’m not dreaming or dead.

      1. caheidelberger

        I derive no cosmic significance from your willingness to get in bed with me on this issue beyond the conclusion that the flaws of HB 1234 are glaringly obvious to folks all along the political spectrum. Sign a petition, vote it down, kick out the incumbents with those tired arms (mentioned below)… and keep your chilly feet on your side of the bed!

  2. Anonymous

    I didn’t support this bill in the legislature but I’m on the fence about voting against it now that it’s public.

    Only thing that troubled me about Daugaard in this debate was that he kept saying it didn’t have to be his way but he obviously wasn’t open to changes.

    I’ll think this through.

  3. anon

    Ahhhhh! Rep. Hickey’s “least favorite bill of the session”, that he voted for twice!

    So many legislators with sore arms from carrying the water for the judicial and executive branches.

  4. gopdad

    NO PROFESSION should give raises across the board to everyone. That includes teachers. Most peoples wages are connected, somehow with their performance. Why not teachers? And tenure? Just another thing that NO profession should have. The unions allow bad teachers to live off of good teachers. I am all for giving good teachers GREAT pay. BUT, we need to get rid of the bad teachers. They hold back our young people and hamper their fellow teachers who bust their butts to get them a raise. This is how the rest of the work force operates, why not with teachers. If anyone else does a bad job, they get fired. So, we should give bad teachers a raise? I do not get it?

    1. Anonymous

      There is nothing worse for the development of a human being than a bad teacher.

      No one should have tenure and teachers should be paid based on their performance. Teachers are afraid to be paid based on performance because they only want to grade the students not the other way around.

      Math and science teachers don’t deserve to be paid anymore than anyone else who teaches.

      1. Anonymous

        I agree with you about getting rid of tenure, but I like the idea of paying tuition for math and science teaching students if they agree to teach in South Dakota for five years since there is a shortage of the teachers in both subjects.

      2. caheidelberger

        We don’t have real tenure. Lee Schoenbeck explained that to you guys five weeks ago. Pay attention.

        Current state law, pre-HB 1234, allows school districts to fire bad teachers at any time. HB 1234 doesn’t change that. It doesn’t affect firing teachers at all. It only removes the due process protections of continuing contract.

        Right now, again pre-HB 1234, come April, schools have to decide whether or not to renew their teachers’ contracts. Teachers who’ve made the cut three times previously get two little bits of due process protection:

        1. If their school decides not to renew their contracts for the next school year, the school must give them a written explanation.

        2. If non-renewed veteran teachers are not satisfied with that explanation, they can ask for a hearing before the board to make their case that they are still doing a good enough job to deserve another year teaching the kids. The board decides, and that decision can be appealed to the circuit court.

        HB 1234 takes those two small bits of due process away. Now, let’s talk about the bill that is, not the vague dark fantasies you have about public education.

    2. anon

      If there are bad teachers, then the principals are not doing their job. We do not have tenure, in this state. We have continuing contract and there is a process to get rid of a bad teacher.

      There is a big difference between bonuses in the business world and in the education world. In business, you can choose your clients. You can choose whether to loan money to someone and affect your performance. In education you cannot choose your clients. All students are educated. Teachers in most cases cannot choose which students are in his/her class–the principal does that. The teacher can do the best they can, but they cannot influence the outside forces on the students–such as lack of sleep, food, unstable home, abuse, etc.

      1. Anonymous

        Yes, we do have tenure in South Dakota. Calling it “continuing contract” doesn’t change the policy and it is almost impossible to remove a tenured teacher. How many bad teachers have been fired? I can’t think of even one, but I can name a dozen or more really poor teachers who remain in the system because they are protected by tenure.

        1. caheidelberger

          Then name them to your local principal, name them to your board, and tell your admins and board to do their job. Current law is not stopping them. And yes, “tenure” and “continuing contract” are two very different things. You abuse the word “tenure” to make a political point, not to describe reality.

          1. Anonymous

            The administration and the school board haven’t been able to get rid of poor teachers, or a couple really bad teachers, because they couldn’t afford the cost of the lawsuits that the teachers’ union was going to dump on them. Call it tenure or continuing contract, it’s still a bad policy.

    3. Anonymous

      GOPdad, so do legislators negotiate their own pay or is that on a collective basis? How about a corporate board of directors…is that a collective bargaining agreement? Just curious. Having friends in the banking business, I believe Wall Street bonuses are decided on a collective basis with the amounts determined by pay scale, position and seniority.

      By the way, you say “I am all for giving good teachers GREAT pay.” What do you define as great pay?

      You follow that with “BUT, we need to get rid of the bad teachers.” So you are for local government ceding their authority to the state?

      Not arguing with you, just some observations.

      1. gopdad

        I said that “most” peoples wages are connected to their performance and I did say that NO ONE should get across the board raises, or bonuses. When I say no one, I mean NO ONE. I don’t care what profession you are talking about. My definition of “great pay”, is a fair wage for the time spent on education and time spent at the job. Yes, some teachers spend much more time at their job than other teachers. But, so do other professions. Thats why we need to judge everyone seperately. The one’s that are spending that time, give them more money. The ones that beat the kids out the door and downtown, fire them.
        I am for local control, and when I say “WE” need to get rid of bad teachers, that has nothing to do with the state. It is up to each community to get rid of bad teachers in their districts.
        Also, until I hear people putting the emphasis on education where it belongs, on education, and not sports, I don’t want to hear anyone asking for more money. I hear MANY people, non-teachers, teachers, administration, that are more worried about what class the athletes will compete in and not about what the athletes will do after graduation. I actually heard a teacher talking about, we cant get more students, because that will bump us to class A. But then that same person bitches that the school has no money. Lets get our priorities straight.

  5. Jammer

    We were blessed in this country by the system our Founding Fathers put in place for us. They were very learned men that thought long and hard about not only what type of system would work but would have the best chance of preserving our freedoms. Fortunately for us they chose a representative republic form of government.

    I am not sure what it is about the progressive liberal mindset that makes them intent upon fundamentally changing our country. It makes no sense that we would want to change a system that made the United States the greatest country in the world. However, that logic does not change the agenda of progressive liberals.

    I encourage people to read the article in the link below. I think it does a good job shedding some light on this problem. Hopefully after reading it, people will be more knowledgeable about this issue and decline to sign a petition to put this matter on the election ballot.

    If people are opposed to the Governor?s plan, they should do everything in their power to influence their elected representative. If that fails and they are still concerned about the outcome they should seek to replace that legislator at the next election. However, they should not pursue the path of creating a ?direct democracy?. History has proven that never works. A direct democracy always ends up with decisions being made based almost exclusively on emotion rather than logic and well thought out deliberations.

    These decisions need to be left in the hands of our elected officials. Please don?t let someone convince you otherwise.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18586520

    1. Clay Bill

      Jammer, the article you attached talks mainly about California and the dangers/problems that can occur when, on too often an occasion, “people … circumvent a legislature with citizen-made legislation.” Comparing California to South Dakota is like comparing apples to oranges. HB 1234, however, is an example of representative government not really serving South Dakotans very well. Can you honestly say a majority of the people you know are in favor of this piece of legislation, or the process/arm twisting done by our governor to get just enough lawmakers to approve it?
      On a related note, do you think citizens should just blindly accept all decisions made by our legislators in an era when ALEC and likely other national lobbying groups are/will be exerting more and more influence in statehouses, including ours in Pierre, that aren’t always in citizens’ best interests?

      1. Jammer

        The issue is not comparing South Dakota to California. The issue is people?s lack of understanding how government is supposed to work. Direct democracy does not work regardless of what state or country tries to use it.

        The progressive liberal agenda is to fundamentally change our country and a good way to do this is to change the way our government is supposed to work. It is amazing that in the era of the internet and all of the people with college degrees, we are unable to understand the very basics of a representative republic and more importantly the dangers of a direct democracy.

        It is ironic that this particular issue involves teachers. It is also ironic that the proposed legislation doesn?t include some type of bonus for teachers that teach government classes. It is obvious that these teachers have let our students down as they seem to have failed in educating South Dakotans on how our government should work. Instead, they are trying to circumvent it.

        While I have an opinion on HB1234, I am not trying to take a stand on it. The issue in my mind is the path South Dakota is headed on with all of their ballot initiatives and referendums. I personally think it is time to draw a line in the sand and say that we need to make our representative republic form of government work, not destroy it.

  6. Anonymous

    Jammer evidently you know, like a union were filing a grievance,we were grieved so now were taking it to the panel, and if the panel decides they were wronged we will over turn.Not collective bargaining,we call it a vote of the people.

    1. Jammer

      In other words, you are in favor of turning our representative republic form of government into a direct democracy. It is people like you that will lead to the demise of our state and country.

  7. Anonymous

    Repeal this bill and cut the schools the $15,000,000! This is a waste of taxpayer money.

    1. V

      I’m certainly not interested in giving the schools $15,000,000 to blow on another gym or more infrastructure.

      I might not be convinced of merit pay but at least I know it’s going to the teachers.

  8. Anonymous

    Jammer served in the milatary, never do that served my country so that freedom lives.If they want to to over turn bill thats theirchoice as americans ,by not allowing this to be voted on do I hear dictator.

  9. Charlie Hoffman

    Many of you may not receive a weekly newspaper from District 23. Below is a section of my article written for this weeks edition covering HB 1234 and my rational for voting for it.

    “This is the final legislative report coming from me for the 2012 Legislative Session. It is going to be very short and cover mainly one bill; HB 1234. We have been subjected to more scrutiny over this bill than any bill we ever had before while serving you in Pierre. We have been accused of carrying water for the Governor and rubber stamping HB 1234 with his approval for political favors. We have been accused of being anti-education, against teachers, unresponsive to school boards. Administrators have told us we are resorting to a system of management which has never been successful. All of these concerns have been placed on the table and discussed with extreme care finding nearly every one wrongly charged. Of course we are carrying water for the Governor; HB 1234 was his bill. But absolutely wrong assumptions in doing so for any political favors. That is not how the system works although many wrongly believe so. Merit Pay has always worked to maintain the same level of proficiency and in many cases awarded certain levels of success not seen before implementation. Schools can either work with the Administration or come up with their own. Workshops will be held which will continue adding levels of success. Adding $15,000,000 to teacher pay will be a huge benefit to many involved in public education. And remember none of this becomes operational for at least two years. Putting more money into those teaching degrees where we are short staffed is a must as without them our level of education diminishes. Almost everyone I talked to behind the camera told me that “Continuing Contract” will not change one thing in management of teachers if we get rid of it and actually has been changed to allow school boards to implement a contractual set of employee standards in their hiring manual.”

  10. Troy Jones

    Thanks Charlie.

    Despite all the “scrutiny” this bill has received, I have never seen so little dialogue, not withstanding the efforts of the Governor, Secretary Schopp, etc. The opponents came out early and firm making dialogue impossible. They changed their arguments (notice how they dropped merit pay will decrease collaboration because it exposed teachers as being petty and motivated by envy vs. what is best for students?) but never their position.

    Anon above said “The teacher can do the best they can, but they cannot influence the outside forces on the students?such as lack of sleep, food, unstable home, abuse, etc.”

    That is true and exactly why merit pay is essential: It gives us the means to reward those teachers who best respond to the challenges that confront them.

    In my opinion, there are some good reasons for structuring merit pay differently (I never heard them though) to get optimal results. The debate raised issues like are our administrators not only competent enough to implement merit pay but are they competent at all that needs to be added to future discussions.

    But in my view, this is a really good step in reforming education for the long-term benefit of students. The easy way was to buckle to the hysteria which never allowed a dialogue. They made it clear from the outset anything that differentiated good and bad teachers or led to pay differential between disciplines was going to be opposed. Period.

    Because of your courage, you have undertaken a massive public education obligation. Parents and taxpayers are demanding a change in the status quo. They will listen through the hysteria. But you will have to speak.

  11. Stace Nelson

    (See this is where I get in trouble, not going along with the “process.” Stand by for some new charges that I threatened to kill someone, or I ran naked through the capitol, or some other far-fetched BS.)

    When in the history of traditional Republican values & principles have Republicans claimed that more government involvement in such issues that should be local controlled, is GOOD? If Republicans historically believe that the Dept of Education in DC cannot run our schools across the nation from DC with a one size fits all approach, why do we feel that our schools across our diverse state can be done so from Pierre?

    Republicans believe in “parental choice and local control.” Local control being that of the individual parents making the decisions on how they want their schools ran! Don’t take my word for it, hell its part of the SDGOP Platform at plank #4.3! Local control is not control taken over by politicians in Pierre and then doled out in skinny strings stretched out to Mom & Pop South Dakota that first must run through the Pierre control hub.

    No politicial deals? Are you kidding me? Do politicians actually believe that voters are NOT going to hear about the crap that goes on in Pierre? “No” votes traded to “Yes” votes on promises of RC area legislators getting strong governor support during this years election? “No” Votes traded for favorable influence on HB 1137? Deals where “leadership” was cussed out and felt betrayed by the governor’s office?! Not to mention the hopes of certain legislators for future commission, judicial, etc. appointments by the governor’s office.

    There were no parents and taxpayers demanding we pass this bill, as Mr. Jones claimed. There were overwhelming contact though from voters telling us to NOT to pass this bill (185 emails AGAINST – 5 FOR), not to mention the personal comments at cracker barrels. What this bill did from even before session started, in a brilliant fashion, was to take the discussion about education away from the tough funding discussions that were surely to come after last year’s cuts.

    In regards to the single subject in the title & bill requirement, the official title of HB 1234 “provide incentives to teach in critical need areas, to provide for rewards for the best teachers and those teaching in math and science subject areas, to revise certain provisions regarding evaluation of teachers, to create a system for evaluating principals, to distinguish between tenured and nontenured teachers, to revise certain provisions regarding the employment of teachers, and to repeal provisions regarding the teacher compensation assistance program.” If folks believe that is one subject, I have prime ocean front property in Hanson County to sell you.

    1. Jammer

      That is all fine Stace and I commend you for standing by your principles. However, I maintain that any changes or fixes to this legislation must be done through our representative republic form of government, not relying on a referendum.

      The ultimate course of action is for voters to take their efforts to the polls in November to defeat the legislators that do not have the same principles and values they have. They should not be using their energy to push us closer and closer to a ?direct democracy?. That in my opinion is a very slippery slope in the wrong direction for both the state of South Dakota and our country.

      1. Stace Nelson

        Jammer,
        Our founding father’s envisioned the legislature as the strongest branch of our government as the voice & representation of the people’s will and the much needed checks and balances of the power of the executive & judiciary branches. When it fails to act as such, the safety valve of the people being able to seek redress on single issues has to be a good thing.

            1. Jammer

              Once again, another person that does not understand a representative republic form of government. A republic places the responsibility for sound government and decision-making on the people’s elected representatives rather than allowing the fluctuating and superficial emotions of the people to override law.

              I suggest that you make some attempt to study and learn about our Founding Fathers, the Constitution and our form of government. The way that we will lose our republic is form the ignorance of its citizens.

    2. Anonymous

      Stacey you seem to relish in hurling accusations at other people and here you charge the governor with all kinds of illegal bribery for votes. Can you substantiate any of it?

      1. confirmation of..

        What has already been posted in other blogs.

        “Relish” is clearly not the word that most people would take away from the comments made, maybe disgust that the rest of us get from understanding what is going on in Pierre.

        It would also appear that it would be the legislators that were wrong for engaging in such conduct (big suprise there).

        1. Hold the phone!

          No no no. There is no substantiation out there on the blogs for his comments here. Rep. Nelson is openly accusing the Governor of South Dakota of bribing legislators for votes. He needs to put up or shut up. He talks about far fetched BS but ironically he is usually the source of it. Stace Nelson needs to substantiate his accusations that the Governor of South Dakota has been bribing legislators for votes.

          1. Stace Nelson

            “anonymous” and “hold the phone” you mean the admissions on SB 77 in the blogs & paper were not enough for you?

            I had personal conversations with legislators about what happened and have detailed information as to the conversations and dealings.

            How about we seat a grand jury, sequester everyone, and then have people testify under oath? I am up for that, heck we can even tack on the felony false reporting of a crime Lust, Rausch, & Gosch engaged in when they lied to people and claimed I threatened Nick Moser? http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/DisplayStatute.aspx?Statute=22-11-9&Type=Statute

            1. Hold the phone!

              Admissions on SB 77 on blogs? Who admitted what? And yes you should substantiate your detailed information from conversations with legislators. File an official complaint with the Attorney General against the Governor, his staff and each legislator you can supposedly name. If you have all this, give the details. What many think you have is an arrogance and lack of self-control in what you do and say.

              1. Stace Nelson

                “hold the phone” can I call you “Hold?” or is that reserved for mom & dad Phone?

                …because simply asking for information about reported legislative corruption was handled so professionally last time? Can I expect the same thorough non-investigative process as was contrived last time to cover up misconduct?

                What? This is the much touted “process” that experts brag about. Is it now not okay?

                Arrogance? Since when is candor arrogance? Only liars need control, they have the problem of snaring themselves in the lies they tell when they forget who they told what.

                1. Bull Elephant..

                  In a China shoppe (aka Rep Nelson), don’t you mind them squawking politicians, you stick to your guns. May not agree with you on everything, but we always know we are getting the truth from you.

                  Need some more people in the legislature with some courage to speak up, do the right thing, and stop following blindly.

                  Very sad that Charlie Hoffman and others look to be going along to get a long.

                  Legislators are supposed to be the voice of and work for the people, not cronys for the governor or lobbyists.

      2. Les

        Anonymous said “and here you(Stace) charge the governor with all kinds of illegal bribery for votes.”

        I don’t see anything other than politics in what Stace is saying. Wasn’t it you(anon) that said Stace lost effect because now there won’t be any relationships with him/you know, the back scratching he won’t have.

        Jimmer, you be kind of right in saying we is goin to mob rule, get used to it buddy/biddy, mob rule is comin when the people gets hungry and they is gittin hungry. And, while we’re inflatin away their $12/hour paycheck on food, fuel and takin that workers tax dues for gummint underhand, they’re gittin angry. A hungry angry citizen has a hard time waitin for the ballot box.

        Referrals takin down the USA? Nah, just more of the same gummint regardless of who’s elected. Ya know, it’s all about those relationships and getting something done, poor Stace, just doesn’t get it.

        Takes more balls than I have to run for public office.

        1. Jammer

          Elections have consequences and that is why people should clearly identify which candidates possess the same principles and values they do. Unfortunately we have reached a point where it is all about the political party and the blind feeling that my guy is better than your guy. Elections should be based upon principles and values.

          It is sad that you and others so calmly dismiss the consequences of drifting toward a direct democracy. I believe we can blame a large part of it on our educational system. It no longer teaches students about the Constitution and what went into the formation of our country.

          This perhaps can be ultimately laid at the feet of the progressive liberals. For the last century they have sought to control our educational system and progressively erode our Constitution.

          If people take the time to carefully study the history of our country?s founding and the Constitution that created the greatest nation on earth, they will soon recognize the step by step erosion of our Constitution and the country it created. Just like people on here have been saying that this referendum would be OK because it is about ?We the people?, the 17 th Amendment was ushered into our Constitution under the same misguided intentions. As a result, people today still justify that legislation as giving the power rightly to the people.

          However, what it really did was change one more piece in the elaborate system of government our Founders gave us. There is a reason that states? rights are almost a distant memory in this country. It is the 17th Amendment and hundreds of other small incremental changes that have been made over time in the name of progress for the people. It is time to stop the march to a direct democracy and all controlling federal government.

          1. Les

            Jimmer”It is sad that you and others so calmly dismiss the consequences of drifting toward a direct democracy. ” You think I’m calm Jimmer?

            Jimmer”This perhaps can be ultimately laid at the feet of the progressive liberals. ” BS@! This can be laid at the feet of a two party government that doesn’t allow the elected to represent. Sorry Stace, you just don’t get it. Ask Noem how long she was in DC before she was steered into a corner and given her orders.

            Complacent citizens that are fat and happy, feeding like puppies, full yet fighting for the nipple because the runt finally got a chance at one.

            With all that meaningless drivel being said, I am a believer in our Constitution, at least what’s left of it.

            1. Jammer

              I seriously doubt that you truly believe in the Constitution. Your previous comments on this issue would indicate otherwise. Your comment about the two party system is a dead giveaway.

              If you truly understood the Constitution and how it has been eroded, you would understand that erosion is what has allowed the two party system to flourish. If we would have stuck strictly to the Constitution, there really would not be a need for a two party system and it would probably not exist today.

              Your own words have betrayed you on this one.

              1. Les

                If you had taken reading comprehension Jimmer, you would understand my statement of the two party problem isn’t far from “””(Jimmer)erosion is what has allowed the two party system to flourish”” BTW, this aint no two party system..It is a system designed to confuse and control.

                Sorry if I got your panties in a twist originally Jim/Jen.

            2. Jammer

              Les, since you immediately dismiss everything that I say, I suggest that you read the following book. It is just one of several sources that will shed some light on this and other issues that are extremely important. Even just reading the description of the book that is presented in the link should give you some clues into the direction of our problems in this country. However, I really do recommend reading the entire book.

              http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Destruction-Original-Electoral-College/dp/1460979419

              1. Les

                I’m not sure what bunker you crawled out from under Jimmer or where you’ve been the last 4 years I’ve been here(and I’m a newbie).
                If you had been here longer than a month you would understand some of the hyperbole whether from me or the rest of the knot heads who you think just can’t get it.
                While I respect, or do I? your efforts, put a name to your comments and classify them with at least the validity of standing behind what you write if winning is that important.

                You to drop into the middle one particular issue being debated here with your Cali referral wreck expecting all here to drop the referral issue and run like scalded dogs.

                Where were you when the referral issue has been debated as SD being an easy target for outside interests to use us as pawns for their initiatives?

                You also minimize South Dakotans when you compare us to Californians!! That was a joke Jimmer. Kind of.

                1. Jammer

                  And let me guess, you were selected to be in charge of the welcoming committee?

                  You should still read the book. It always helps when you understand what you are talking about.

  12. Anonymous

    Do think when vote is counted, Govs bill will be voted out, like a tornado going through the prarie.New bill will come in to favor all teachers just not the chosen few.Can I get an amen on this.

  13. Troy Jones

    The State Constitution places the primary responsibility for our schools in the hands of the State. School Boards are creations of the State. The party platform supporting parents and local control is within the context of this Constitutional obligation. If it weren’t, the plank would be to amend the State Constitution.

    We are a republican democracy and not a direct democracy. We the people have delegated certain authorities to our elected representatives to exercise their collective judgement. We have an executive branch with an obligation to execute the laws passed.

    Being a Republican doesn’t mean we are against all government (anarchists). We want better, smaller, government. This is why we do delegate to local school boards much and we can do more. But this bill has places on the local school districts one obligation (provide information to the State of math and science teachers eligible for a bonus) and one option to participate in giving bonus’ to top performing teachers. This is not an unfunded mandate as all the money comes from the state in an effort to fulfill its Constitutional mandate. Maybe for some, this is too much from Pierre.

    Regarding parents clamoring for a change in the status quo, we have watched education performance decline for decades. This can not continue. We want something different and send people to Pierre to make a fundamental change. I looked at the bills sponsored or co-sponsored by Rep. Nelson (one was related to education funding) but nothing which addressed the fundamentals of education.

    Granted, there is more to being a legislator than introducing bills. And I’m not picking on Representative Nelson. This type of significant change almost always comes from the Governor. They are the executive, they have to execute the law. But in the end, just saying no is insufficient. The Governor, Secretary Schopp, and many legislators put something on the table that was significant (if HB1234 hadn’t been significant it wouldn’t have generated the responses).

    I think it good and the average people I see everyday support it. Maybe they aren’t the type to storm the capital but they are citizens. They definitely aren’t part of the current education power structure that has been in control of education policy for the last 50 years.

    A few weeks ago, my wife and I are with three other couples. One is a former teacher. She brings up her opposition to HB1234, gave her rationale, and the group was silent changing the subject. Clear uptake, nobody wanted to argue with her but nobody also agreed with her.

    In the end, I believe there is a quiet majority of South Dakotans who support this. I don’t fear it being on the ballot. When they are asked do you support the following to improve education, I believe they will respond favorably (too bad we can’t put Obamacare on the national ballot):

    1) Establishing a critical teaching needs scholarship program to encourage high school graduates to get teaching degrees in critical areas and teach in South Dakota.

    2) to create a math and science teacher incentive program to attract certified teachers who teach in math and science.

    3) to bonus the top performing certified teachers.

    4) to allow any teacher to be terminated, by the school board, at any time for just cause, including breach of contract, poor performance, incompetency, gross immorality, unprofessional conduct, insubordination, neglect of duty, or the violation of any policy or regulation of the school district (basically making teachers live under the same rules as everyone else in South Dakota).

    (all related to the single subject: teaching)

    Wisconsin sent shock waves across the nation with regard to their changes regarding its governmental employees and operations. I hope this bill goes before the people. South Dakota can and should be at the forefront of educational reform.

    For too long, good teachers have been maligned because of a belief there are too many less than satisfactory teachers. For too long, pay has been set solely based on how long they have been in the classroom without regard to how well they do their jobs. For too long, we have watched the quality of education decline without making a single change.

    1. Anonymous

      “For too long, pay has been set solely based on how long they have been in the classroom without regard to how well they do their jobs.”

      Kind of like most businesses and the military huh Troy.

      “For too long, good teachers have been maligned because of a belief there are too many less than satisfactory teachers.”

      So it has nothing to do with anything else? You sure? But I’m guessing you have research to back this up.

      Heck, for far too many it doesn’t matter how good or bad someone is…people have been berating teachers as a whole for a long time.

    2. yawn

      When you have to try so hard to sell something as you are, it probably aint right to begin with.

  14. Anonymous

    “Wisconsin sent shock waves across the nation with regard to their changes regarding its governmental employees and operations.”

    How’s that Wisconsin thing working out?

    If I recall (seems appropriate in talking about Wisconsin) the trade off was to give incentives to business in advance of creating the budget which then showed a deficit equal to the incentives to business. So where was that deficit going to be made up? I’ll give you a couple of guesses.

    Right or wrong, there seems to be a battle coming from the funders of the Republican Party against workers and those in public service.

    I’d sure love to see how that is not an accurate perception.