The 2016 education package proposed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard was based on the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, which was co-chaired by state Sen. Deb Soholt and state Rep. Jacqueline Sly.
“It’s not often you have the opportunity to be part of something that affects an entire state and generations of children,” says Soholt. “Aside from parents, expert teachers are one of the most powerful levers for launching our kids and helping them succeed in the world. It was my distinct honor to co-chair this work with Rep. Jacque Sly so that ongoing funding was secured to support our schools.”
Teachers around the state watched the legislative session closely, and passage of the legislation boosted morale in many South Dakota schools. For school year 2016-17, the average salary of public school teachers was $45,625, which represents an 8.8 percent increase statewide. Some who otherwise would not have considered teaching in the state are giving South Dakota a second look.
National Board Certification stipends reinstated
National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education and provides numerous benefits to teachers, students and schools. Students of NBC teachers have been shown to outperform their peers. The certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide.
The 2016 education package reinstated stipends for South Dakota public school teachers and counselors who achieve National Board Certification. South Dakota NBC educators receive $2,000 per year for five years, with $1,000 paid by the Department of Education and $1,000 paid by the educator’s school district. These stipends had not been funded at the state level since 2009.