Governorís budget includes funding aimed at ensuring college, career readiness
Gov. Dennis Daugaard presented his proposed budget for FY 14 earlier this week. Below are highlights as they pertain to K-12 education. Many of the education-related items in the budget support the Department of Educationís efforts to focus on student outcomes, and the overall aspiration that students are on track to graduate high school college, career and life ready.
STATE AID & TECHNOLOGY
Related to state aid and technology, the governor has proposed:
--A 3% increase in the per-pupil allocation for general state aid to education. That would put the PSA at $4,625.65.
--A 3% increase in each of the special education disability allocations and funding for the Extraordinary Cost Fund.
--An increase of $580,000 in the Technology in Schools budget, to cover increasing bandwidth costs, etc.
--Funding to purchase teacher evaluation software, aligned to the stateís standards for teaching, for use in each of the 151 public school districts. (This includes one-time set-up funds in FY 13, as well as ongoing software costs for FY 14 and beyond.)
COLLEGE & CAREER READINESS
Related to student outcomes for college and career readiness, the governor has proposed:
--Funding for the Accuplacer exam for students whose ACT scores would place them in need of remediation at the Board of Regentsí institutions. This also includes the cost of coursework these students would take Ė using MyFoundations Lab via the South Dakota Virtual School Ė in order to make them eligible to take the college-level courses and avoid remediation at the university level.
--Funding for the administration of the WorkKeys exams, which lead to a National Career Readiness Certificate ( NCRC), in one high school grade level. The NCRC is a portable credential that demonstrates achievement of a certain level of workplace employability skills in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information. WorkKeys assessments measure "real world" skills that employers believe are critical to job success. This would also meet the need for a career readiness indicator in the stateís new accountability system.
--Funding to maintain the Advanced Placement courses currently being offered by Learning Power via the South Dakota Virtual School. The dollars would cover course and instruction costs for approximately 300 students. The AP courses are in the areas of math, science and English.
--One-time funds to expand the Jobs for Americaís Graduates, or JAG, program in additional districts in South Dakota. JAG is a is a state-based non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk. In more than three decades of operation, JAG has delivered consistent, compelling results in helping young people stay in school through graduation, pursue postsecondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs.
The governorís full budget proposal is posted on the Bureau of Finance and Managementís website.