South Dakota School Funding Increase Tied to Teacher Salary, Benefit Boosts
Capitol Recap offers highlights of the legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
Education funding got a 3 percent boost in South Dakota last week, with Gov. Michael Rounds’ March 17 signing of a $337 million school spending package—part of a state budget totaling $3.6 billion.
The Republican governor had argued for a 2.5 percent increase, well below a 4.25 percent hike that the Republican leader of the Senate, Dave Knudson, had pushed through that body.
Under the measure approved in the last minutes of the 2008 session, school districts must use the full increase for teacher salaries and benefits or see it trimmed by half a percentage point.
But legislators cut $3 million for Gov. Rounds’ laptop-computer program for schools. He said he would seek other funding for it.
Vol. 27, Issue 29, Page 16