Leadership requires consensus building

At the cracker barrel Saturday morning here in Sioux Falls, state senator Todd Schlekeway continued his efforts and defended his failed amendment to push for an interim task force to study and improve Governor Daugaard’s education bill HB 1234. Schlekeway has the right proposal and the right idea.

“Here’s my rational. I’m trying to build support for the bill. I’m talking about ten months. There is no appropriation in HB 1234. So why are we passing something for the sake of passing something? In testimony the school administrators were opposed to the bill and they said four out of one-hundred-thirty-three administrators in the state support it. Four. You do the math on that. My intention with the task force and I’m skeptical of task forces sometimes also but I’m trying to garner more support. This bill has changed positively throughout the session but we have five days left… And will everyone support it at the end of the day? No, but we would get more stakeholders on board. School boards and administrators and then come back next year when by the way the appropriation is slated to take place… The reason I crafted the amendment (that kept critical needs scholarship but eliminates rest of HB 1234 in favor of an advisory council – amendment failed 5-2) is because it should have more support from those it impacts the most. – Senator Todd Schlekeway at SF cracker barrel

There are aspects of the bill that many of us disagree with. I’m happy to see some of the bill has changed, such as the math and science bonuses which were among the most intolerable aspects in my opinion.

What I liked about Schlekeway’s proposal was that it halted this bill that has been recieved poorly by the public (other than Troy Jones – who is a class act by the way). Let’s not get carried away, I don’t think this bill is the end of the world as some in our blogosphere seem to believe, but the mark of a great leader is the ability to build consensus. What Schlekeway wants to do is what Daugaard should want to do. Listen to people, make some of the changes South Dakotans are asking for, improve the perception, and craft a better bill. Maybe merit pay and math and science bonuses aren’t the way to go. If they aren’t, allow us to bring forth ideas to replace those we disagree with.

Daugaard’s proposal is only one idea. It isn’t the only option, and I’m certain if a study was conducted over the next 10 months and the governor’s intention to increase student achievement remained the goal, legislators such as Schlekeway would come up with a policy to unite a much broader segment of South Dakota’s population.

Improving student achievement is an honorable intention which has broad support and should become the uniting piece of legislation South Dakotans want. Unfortunately HB 1234 has become viewed by much of the public as an assult on teachers, and I guarantee that was not Governor Daugaard’s intent.

18 Replies to “Leadership requires consensus building”

  1. Anonymous

    Bolin has also fought hard against this bill in the House and dare I say it louder than any Democrat has. Bolin has done a masterful job fighting this monster.

  2. anon

    Reminds me of Obamacare and that is about the only reason I hope Cory Heidelbergerwithfries has to eat it.

    Now he knows how the rest of us feel when legislation opposed by the people is forced upon us.

  3. anon

    To say that Daugaard isn’t listening to people and making changes is way off base. Just look at how much the bill has changed since its’ origin. In fact, the Gov made the statement “I’m not saying this is THE plan, I’m saying it is A plan.

    I believe he’s lived up to that. Not many Governor’s would have let the legislature totally re-work their proposal like he has… It certainly wouldn’t have happened just a few years ago.

    Offering up no solution other than a summer study is nothing but a delay tactic and a cop-out. The problems won’t be any different a year from now, nor will the solutions. No one will know for sure if this idea moves the needle or not, but we’ll never know that answer on any proposed solution until we give it a chance to work. That takes years…so let’s get on with it.

    1. toga

      What a joke. I love Daugaard but his plan hasn’t changed all that much. Is it as bad? No but come on let’s make it better.

      A study isn’t a cop out it’s called leadership. Let’s fix the problems and fix this bill.

      1. insomniac

        I was impressed that Schlekeway had the guts to stand up to the Governor. Way to go! He’s with the Governor most of the time but when the Governor is wrong I’m glad to see someone have the guts to stand up and tell him so.

        Real leadership is doing the right thing. Schlekeway has that. – I’m sure it’s easier for my friends in the GOP to go along and vote for the governor’s plan than oppose it.

        1. insomniac

          Daugaard’s staff showed total disregard for the legislature by not allowing legislative input from those on the legislative committee into the plan before it was proposed.

  4. MC Post author

    To use Cory’s metaphore, This is meatloaf that no really likes.

    Instead of shoving something we don’t like through, let’s take a breather then work together to come up with something that will work and we all can live with.

  5. caheidelberger

    HB 1234 is bad. It has no popular support. It has no evidence that it will work. It has plenty of evidence that it will do active harm to our schools and students. Vote it down, replace it with the task force Sen. Schlekeway and Rep. Hunhoff have sensibly recommended.

    And anon, to say you would support a disastrous public policy just to make one person “eat it” shows you are more interested in cheap verbal insults than in intelligent civic discourse and the good of the Republic. Where some of us love South Dakota, you apparently love only getting your bully rocks off.

  6. Arrowhead

    4 out of 133 schools oppose this bill. That says it all. Daugaard doesn’t care if the schools support the bill because he’s not up for reelection next year.

  7. D.E. Bishop

    It’s the same bill and it’s still that bad. For pete’s sake, 129 against versus 4 for! This should be a no brainer. Why is the gov pushing such a losing bill so hard!?

    Anon, that was really a Stupid Thing to Say. You don’t care what happens to anyone, any of our school children, so long as you get your petty revenge. You should be embarrassed, at least.

    1. Argus Misleader

      I have new apreciation for Senator Schlekeway and his committment to the people and constituents. This bill is bad and more legislators should be brave enough to tell Daugaard no.

      I voted straight GOP ticket in 2010 and I will sign a petition to have this refered on the ballot. It’s that bad as legislation.

  8. Job Creator

    Didn’t Reagan’s best girl Margaret Thatcher say that concensus is the negation of leadership?


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