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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Feb. 2016  
Letter from the Secretary

The 2016 Legislative Session is well under way, and I’ve been traveling around the state with Gov. Daugaard to share information about his proposals based on the findings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. We have an unprecedented opportunity this year related to competitive teacher pay and a revised school funding formula for South Dakota.

The Governor and I have also visited with the South Dakota Education Association. The support of statewide education groups like the SDEA, Associated School Boards and School Administrators of South Dakota will be critical to getting these proposals passed. My office has also reached out to the PTA.

The Department of Education has also hosted two informational sessions for legislators: one focused on the proposed new funding formula and an overview of the major findings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, then a follow-up to discuss other pieces of the proposal such as capital outlay and other revenues. Both sessions were well attended.

As you know, increasing the state sales tax requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. That is certainly a heavy lift, but I am optimistic. There is a strong sense of urgency among legislators to get something done in this area this year. This is truly an exciting time.

Thank you for all you do for South Dakota students.


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