PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Legislative Research Council has officially filed Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s education reform bills which are now online for the public to view.
“South Dakotans want us to be bold,” said Gov. Daugaard. “They are tired of hearing how South Dakota is 51st in teacher pay. They want their children to have a quality education and they want to advance student achievement. I am confident we can achieve those goals through this proposal. This is the year to get it done.”
The Governor’s teacher pay proposal is made up of three separate legislative measures:
- House Bill 1182 – increase the state sales tax, the state use tax, the excise tax on farm machinery, and amusement device tax for the purpose of increasing education funding and reducing property taxes, and to declare an emergency.
- Senate Bill 131 – establish a target teacher salary and a target teacher ratio and to revise certain provisions regarding education funding.
- Senate Bill 133 – revise certain provisions regarding shared services provided by the state to school districts, the sharing of services of school district employees, the classroom innovation grant program, and educator mentoring and certification reciprocity.
SB 1182 would increase the sales tax by a half-penny and dedicate $40 million for property tax relief. The new revenue would increase South Dakota’s average teacher salary from $40,000 to a target average of $48,500.
SB 131 establishes a new funding formula and requires that 90 percent of new funding go specifically to teacher pay. The bill also imposes new caps on school general reserve funds and on the growth of capital outlay levies.
SB 133 includes a number of proposals to recruit and retain more teachers and to create new opportunities for school efficiency.
Gov. Daugaard first outlined his education proposal in his State of the State Address last month. The Governor’s proposals are largely based on the recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Task Force which met last year to study education funding and teacher pay.
The education reform bills can be viewed online at legis.sd.gov.