Legislator calling for special session? Why? There will be time for grandstanding next January.

From today’s KCCR:

A group of legislators, led by State Representative Elizabeth May of Kyle, claim that the Blue Ribbon Taskforce is not the appropriate way to address South Dakota’s education funding needs.

A media press conference will be held in Rapid City Thursday morning to announce the group’s plans to try and tackle the issue.

May says that something immediately needs to be done on this issue, and there have been several legislators that are hearing an earful from their constituents…

May adds that they are going to have a press conference and they will announce the call for a special session of the South Dakota Legislature…

Read it all here.

If someone calls for a special session, and no one pays attention, do they still hold a press conference?

Liz May, who has been somewhat critical of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, is not going to wait and hear what the task force has to say before calling for a special session?  Then why are we having the task force in the first place?

This marks the second time May has called for a special session, with the first being last month. Her justification for it then was cited in part because she didn’t like who was selected to be on the panel.

Representative Elizabeth May of Kyle is making a bold statement, saying that a special session is needed to truly address the teacher shortage and the financial crisis that most school districts are facing.


May has been critical of the “Blue Ribbon Task Force” that was created by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. May states that the Blue Ribbon task force is failing to address the negative effects that the federally mandated standards and assessments are having on school districts financially and academically.

May says that she knows that the people selected to the task force will do a good job, but is also disappointed with who was selected.

Read that here.

A special session is not just something you ask for at the drop of a hat, especially considering the expenses and expenditures of taxpayer dollars involved. And if it’s because of her dislike for the panel, that’s a worse reason yet.

Let the panel do it’s job, and then legislators can have their day in the sun talking about the study’s outcome. There will be plenty of time for grandstanding next January.


25 thoughts on “Legislator calling for special session? Why? There will be time for grandstanding next January.”

  1. Watching a bit of CSPAN the past few days, Senators Alexander and Murray are making some serious changes to NCLB and CCCS.

  2. Here’s my thought. Will the dems make a political move to get behind the right wing fringe or do they sit quietly and twiddle their thumbs like usual?

    The dems could really make a few moves if they play this right.

    They need bipartisan numbers. This is a chance to help the right fringe and left stick something to Daugaard.

  3. Just a thought but why don’t the dems run Troy Heinert for Congress instead of the lady named after a bird.

  4. Rep May is onto something. Education funding is our state government’s biggest business, and understanding it should be a must for all legislators. Rather than a special session, this issue should be taken up by the House, and then by the Senate, sitting as a Committee of the Whole. It would drive participation and knowledge-building for every member, and for most of last session most of the committees had no bills assigned to them to do anything else with their time anyway. It’s an idea worth considering.

    1. How much would it cost to provide every child with a Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate bar before every testing session?

    2. If he thinks May is onto something. All you have to do to get answers is contact the DOE. Common Core costs the state LESS than it did during the years prior to implementation. The state had the state federal laws to comply with under NO Child Left Behind like administration of the annual Dakota STEP test. The Dakota STEP test cost MORE than the Smarter Balance test. This isn’t rocket science. Just look at the numbers.

  5. I thought it was interesting, after hearing all the howling about all the testing, to learn the Feds require only 17 tests in 13 years of K-12.
    All the additional testing originates with state and local agencies, who claim, when challenged by parents, that the Feds require it.

  6. The solution is very simple, “school consolidation”. Reduce the formula for smaller schools to encourage them to consolidate. The larger schools shouldn’t be subsidizing the smaller schools. Just throwing more money at the problem isn’t going to solve anything, we have been trying that for years now. How many cents of every dollar do we spend on education? 65 cents?

  7. At this point, a special session is silly. Contracts for schools are long done, budgets set, etc. The time for the discussion would have been last January.

    When they hold session.

  8. Republicans have had eleven task forces in about thirteen years to appease people so they think you care but no improvements have come. So do not keep fooling yourself that people actually think you are taking education funding seriously. So when your main emphasis is on fooling people into complacency, do not be surprised when someone wants a special session to finally get the ball rolling. Where I grew up we had a saying, ‘actions speak louder than words’. and we have seen no actions from these task forces in a very long time. Next problem is how to fund it. You Republicans have dug your own hole here. All you can think of is ‘no more taxes’. So now when there is a need you have put yourself in your own hole. You did actually finally realize that the roads needed some help and you raised the gas tax and no one complained. South Dakotans do realize that it takes money to do what is needed. Do you not realize that they think their kids are more important than a road? Keep in your ‘we will never change mode’ and the Democrats will finally beat you and when the pendulum has swung to far, you will lose big. So suck it up and admit you need to change some and raise taxes for the sake of the children, all of them.
    To be conservative means you like the past and the status quo. To be liberal means that you think that improvements are needed. To admit you are wrong is very hard for you since you both will have to lose a little arrogance and when the system seems wrong is hard on the gut feeling of the status quo people who are your base. So this change will not be easy for you. But that is what you deserve when you have been wrong.
    Your party seems to want all the discussion behind the scenes so no one knows when there is a problem. So now there are almost ten percent of the legislature appointed by the governor since your party has so many resignations. Now a good conservative pastor resigned. And earlier this year the two senators who were your own two top senators two years ago have resigned. And about six resigned the year before. When someone takes the time and effort to run for office and then gets there and quits, you have a problem. Some of your own top people are sick and tired of the situation in a polite way. When I was a kid I would hear a saying that said, ‘there is something rotten in Denmark’, which meant, ‘ something smells bad but we can not completely see what the problem is.’ Well, there might be something rotten in South Dakota politics.

  9. First look at where the money already allocated is going. Don’t just simply say we need more money and raise taxes. There is a lot of money being funneled to education, but where does it disappear to. If teachers are the most important in getting a quality education, then put the money there first, and what is left over can be doled out to the various other things that seem to be necessary today for educating a child, whether mandated or just simply liked. Likes are not needs. Think administrator salaries, think small schools that are within 12 miles of a larger school, think athletics and all the ancillary costs (motels, food, gas). Think outside the box. If teachers are truly underpaid, and some probably are, a lot are not, then put the money there first. More money does not equal better education, but wise use of the money does.

    1. I thought outside the box, its called school consolidation, hits everyone of the points you made. An actual blue ribbon study on school consolidation might actually achieve something. May should be pushing a study on school consolidation not a special session. Just my opinion.

    2. I agree. How much money is spent on sports and extra curricular activities? I have friends who have kids in soccer, hockey, baseball and other non-sanctioned school sports. The “pay to play” and are happy to do it. There are also scholarships available for those who might need the financial assistance. Maybe it’s time to make a transformation from school sponsored events to all club sponsored events and use the savings to help pay teacher salaries.

  10. A special session right now is a downright silly idea.
    Let the Blue Ribbon Task-force complete its work, and then make its report.
    I have little problem raising taxes to support our teachers, If that is what is needed. The problem I have is if the state gives the school districts more money, will 100% of the school districts pass 100% of that money to those that teach?

    1. Just wondering who these people are on the Blue Ribbon Task force and what their occupations are.

    2. “raising taxes to support our teachers” – Yes do that, it’s called an opt-out…nothing is stopping you counties from doing this, unless the voters disapprove. School Consolidation = real reform

  11. Springer makes some good points. We seem to pay Superintendents almost national average, why, maybe because they are slick at underpaying teachers.

    1. What makes this even worse, is there is 1 superintendent for 1 school district where some school districts have like 1 or 2 schools, does that make sense? Now add a principal on top of that for each school and BAM!!! your school dollars spent on administration not teachers.

  12. If teaching were easy everyone would be doing it. Knowing that our Retirement plan is top 2 or 3 in the country is the only reason we’ve not yet had schools become teacher insolvent. Teaching in SD it is an activity of love for kids & great elementary teachers inspiring students to mimic them.
    Superintendents lead the school boards in salary discussions & negotiations. But teachers take increases in health insurance over salary many times.
    Many moving parts and difficult to fault any one entity.

  13. http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/S_EveryChildAchievesActof2015.pdf

    I have yet to hear a single senator speak in opposition to this bill but I haven’t listened to all the speeches. I have been trying to find out if they are going to resume today or if they finally stopped talking and voted on it yesterday. Even Al Franken was praising it yesterday.

    The landscape is being changed under our feet while the Blue Ribbon task force is trying to navigate the current one.

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