Ed groups know a tax increase for teachers is DOA.

According to education groups pushing a sales tax increase for teacher salaries, the measure likely faces both legislative resistance, and a likely Veto from the Governor.

According to the Argus Leader this morning:

Under the terms of the proposal, state sales tax would increase by a penny in June, July and August. Money from the tax hike would go into a special fund reserved for school districts.

The one-cent sales tax hike would bring in about $40 million, according to estimates. But even the people who came up with the idea are less than certain about how much support there is among lawmakers. Rob Monson, executive director of the School Administrators of South Dakota, said the plan would probably do better among voters.

His group was one of three that pitched the idea to a committee of lawmakers in September. Monson is more optimistic about the proposal’s fate as a ballot initiative than he is about it passing through the Legislature with the required two-thirds approval.

“I just find it hard to believe that we would get that kind of support,” Monson said.

Read it here.

What do you think? Should the legislature be setting local salary policy?

And is this going to be what Democrats spend their time, money, and energy on in 2016 instead of running candidates for office?

14 thoughts on “Ed groups know a tax increase for teachers is DOA.”

  1. State lawmakers must balance the needs of the child against the priorities of the taxpayer, just like school board members must do. What’s upsetting the applecart is we are in the initial phase of baby-boomer retirement with very few students in the education pipeline. We already have shortages. If the Governor and our legislature have the ability to look ahead they will see accelerating shortages and challenges.

    It’s true our teacher shortage problem is not unique to South Dakota – it’s in all states. But what IS unique to our state is our bottom-rung teacher pay that minimizes out-of-state teachers from relocating here. Market pressure apply just the same in education as they apply in any other field – and market pressures create a net exodus of teachers from South Dakota that will increase over time.

    The other difference between SD and about half the states in the US is they have a state-wide strategic plan to address teacher shortages. South Dakota does not. Is it beyond reason for the Governor and legislature to develop a strategic plan?

    We are already seeing unqualified people serve as teachers in our schools, because, according to principals that hire staff, “a warm body in the classroom is better than no body in the classroom.” As the teacher shortage worsens, the challenge for the Governor and legislature will be to put politics and hard feelings aside and focus on developing a plan to bring new teachers into classrooms . . . similar to the tech school strategy to develop new workers in other critical shortage areas, fueled by Mr. Sandford’s gift and matched by the state.

    Last, in my view, funds for roads and bridges are a priority . . . but they are no more a priority than addressing the teacher shortage. The same two-thirds vote needed to raise taxes for our roads will also be required to raise taxes for teacher shortages. Both are important. Both should be addressed.

  2. Two things:
    I keep running into people who say they wanted to be teachers but couldn’t find work, some for geographical reasons, others because they didn’t have athletic coaching skills, which is the only thing a lot of school boards are interested in.

    Second, going to various forums I have been struck by the way the teachers show up to whine and complain about how under appreciated and underpaid they are. Because nobody else understands how hard it is to work bankers’ hours, indoors, in climate-controlled environments, having weekends, nights and holidays off. It’s just awful, the working conditions teachers must endure, for so little money.

    And no matter what the legislature does for them, it’s never enough.

    1. They don’t realize how low the cost of living here in South Dakota! Sure wish I had summers off! They should feel lucky to have a job!

  3. I think they should all be offered Part time work with the DOT. They could spend the winters operating snowplows and summers spreading asphalt to augment their paltry incomes

  4. Another possibility is the dairy industry. The governor wants more cows and one of the objections has been the possible influx of illegal workers. The teachers could spend their weekends, holidays and vacations with cows.

  5. Anne, you point is well taken that teacher whine. They receive education on managing a class of prepubescent whiners but have not mastered the social or political skills needed to advance the cause of education at the Capitol.

    For all the politicos that read this blog and that care about our state, if we focus on what’s best for our children and not pay as much attention to the whining, maybe we can all work together to put a highly qualified teacher in each South Dakota classroom. Regardless of politics, isn’t that what most rational people want?

    The question remains: how does our state do that in light of retiring baby boomers and few young people going into the profession?

  6. If there was “voter support,” why aren’t they willing to deal with this district by district by taking it to a vote for a local property tax increase? Why do they always look to Pierre and the state taxpayer? Isn’t education a “local control” prerogative?

  7. After all the money the teachers’ union (SDEA) gave to Democrats in their spectacularly unsuccessful bid to get more liberal Democrats in Pierre, they are going to have one devil of a time getting Republicans to pass anything they lobby for!

    1. If the teachers union would quit whining for a little while maybe the legislatures would give some money only for good teacher raises, no fat cat administrator raises and no bad teacher raises.

      The whining must lessen. The union should probably be abolished because soon the smarter teachers will realize this teacher union is like the Mr. Kloucheck of organizations. You don’t want them on your side.

  8. Maybe if the teacher’s union, SDEA, and also the school superintendents would stop saying how poor the pay is for teachers, more young people would think about entering that profession. Teachers on average get paid more than 75% of all the other wage earners in SD, for 9 months work. Administrators make more than 97% of the other workers, and they want us to pay more taxes so they can get paid more?

  9. The discord in forcing rural districts to engage in popularizing opt outs for the purpose of increased teacher pay is that by the time our rural schools are in that condition hundreds of children will already have been negatively affected by a scant list of qualified teachers to choose from.
    In the same context of right wing ultra-conservative ideology towards local control we can only hope everyone conservative in South Dakota embraces less Federal intrusion into our States affairs when the Federal Government balances their budget and cuts our 2 for 1 dollars now streaming into our coffers.
    And if a yearly sales tax is known to have over 30% of the total coming from non-residents what exactly is that figure for the months of June, July & August?
    Those who don’t think outside the box end up taped in it.

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