Sioux Falls, SD Responds to Gov. Daugaard Ed Reform Proposal

After Governor Dennis Daugaard and South Dakota’s Democrats laid out their education reform proposals, the Sioux Fall school district has put forward its preferences for the ways that schools in the district are funded.

School Board President Kent Alberty said:

“We thought well there’s a huge discussion on education reform going on, we want our legislators to hear our side.”

The Sioux Falls School Board invited area lawmakers to have a discussion about education funding and the Governor’s reform plan, writes Nicole Winters at the Keloland.

Alberty used the talks to present the board’s own funding proposal, which calls for a four percent increase yearly with a 0.5 percent increase for performance pay.

In reaction to the proposals, Republican State Senator Mark Johnston of Sioux Falls said:

“A couple of the recommendations the school board and Superintendent Homan made, they’re right on track with the thinking of my peers and administration.

“We’ve got a school funding law in place.  We’re going to fund it to what the economy tells us.  Let’s get some of these incentives, one-time money in place, into the hands of those who need it.  Let’s have another discussion next year, possibly even a new formula.”

The district has also called for more local control in the decision of where money is spent. The district wants say in the ways its budgets are deal.

For example, Sioux Falls administrators do not foresee a shortfall in math and science teachers and would like to put that potential money elsewhere, writes Winters.

Alberty said:

“What we want to be able to do is meet the needs of our local school district. The Sioux Falls School District is different by its nature,”

Johnson liked the idea:

“The needs of Sioux Falls are different than needs of Rapid City.  The needs of Aberdeen are different than Dakota Valley and one size does not fit all.”

While both sides meet on some aspects and disagree on others, everybody involved is said to be happy to be working forward.