|Why Is This Man Laughing?|
(photo from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader)
Daugaard's buck-passing reaction shows both a lack of leadership and concern. The fact is that in real dollars and on a per pupil basis, South Dakota's state support of education is more than 8% lower than it was in 2008. Compared to our surrounding states, South Dakota has been a piker, indeed. All but Montana (which is just 2% lower) have shown real dollar increases since '08 and probably not
coincidentally have significantly higher teacher salaries to show for their added commitments. Considering that the state's public school enrollment numbers have increased by about 10,000 students between '08 and '14, that 8% reduction in South Dakota's support for education affects even more families than ever. It needs to be restored.
|SD--Last In The Region . . .|
. . . Again
(graphic from cpbb.org)
Before we can buy Governor Daugaard's claim about the state not bearing any direct responsibility for low teacher salaries, we should expect him to bring state spending on education to the level that it was less than a decade ago. This would at least show a good faith effort at maintaining a competitive balance with our adjoining neighbor states. We can not keep losing ground in this contest, as I believe that the incipient teacher shortage problem will morph into a crisis. Considering that he had no compunction about seriously raising taxes in order to address our roadway deterioration needs, I think Daugaard can make just as compelling a case to raise taxes in order to support what should be our most prized asset--public education.
If the Governor really cares, which I'm beginning to seriously doubt, he can make the rest of us care.
|Never Mind The Embarrassment.|
What Do We Do About The Teacher Shortage?
(graphic from The Washington Post)