SD 132 and Gov. Daugaard’s Task Force

by Bill Powers

SB 132 states that “a school district may offer and, upon the signing of a contract by both parties, pay a signing bonus, moving expenses, or tuition reimbursement to a teacher employed in the school district.”

This bill is sponsored by Senate majority leader Rave and Education chair Sly, suggesting that it will be approved.

It is been moved out of the Education Committee with a Do Pass vote.

While such a measure could only help in teacher hiring, it is unclear how it can help. State funding formula limits funding for education and says nothing, outside of capital outlays, specifically about how that money is spent. So it is unclear where this money is coming from. It must be that such practices are prohibited. Only school districts with unallocated funds
could find the required funding. Perhaps, however, this represents a small expenditure and the funds for to implement can often be found  in many district budgets.

On Friday February 6, Governor Daugaard held a press conference, along with Senator Rave and Representative Gosch, the majority leaders of Senate and House, respectively.

He said, “We want quality schools that focus on student achievement…secondly, we want a workforce of great teachers because studies show that the most significant impact on student achievement is the quality of the teachers, and thirdly, we want an efficient, equitable funding system that encourages those first two things.”

He wants to form a “Blue Ribbon” task force. He said, “The task force will reevaluate the current funding formula that has been in statute since 1995. It’s going to collect and analyze data. It’s going to engage with stakeholders who are in the education community, and seek input from the public, as well.”

Finally, he’s “asking the task force to produce policy recommendations to be considered by the 2016 legislature.”

The bottom line is that nothing is planned by the Governor for this year.

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Comments

  1. 10 studies in 17 years, what’s he going to find out with this one he don’t already know? This is a stalling tactic, there will be another excuse next year.

  2. Carol Hayse says:

    Equitable school funding is a wonderful goal for sure. But the Governor makes a mistake when he says that the most significant impact on student achievement is the quality of teachers. What studies show, actually, is that teachers can only cause about 1-13% of a student’s academic growth. Overwhelmingly, studies show that a student’s socio economic circumstances are the greatest causal factor in his/her academic achievement, or lack thereof. It is widely known that results on standardized tests, for instance, correlate with precision to the student’s SES. That is, students who live in poverty have lower test scores, and test scores rise as you go up the economic ladder, with students from well to do homes and school districts getting the highest scores.
    But note: this is not an argument for shoddy teacher preparation! Teachers deserve, and students can benefit from, high quality teacher preparation. for instance, Finland is usually cited as the best single education system on the planet. Teachers there must have (the equivalent of) a Master’s degree, entry into teaching programs is highly competitive, and teacher salaries are high. Children and families do NOT benefit from “quickie” teacher “training”, such as Teach for America.

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