Thursday, October 19, 2006

School Board and Teachers have no deal

We heard tonight after the gubernatorial candidates debate the the Rapid City School District and the teachers still don't have agreement on a contract.

Rapid City teacher Larry Mintzlaff and RC School Board member and lieutenant governor candidate Eric Abrahamson discuss the financial challenge of trying to improve support for education when the Governor says everything is fine, and teacher salaries are only "a local issue."

Abrahamson spoke to those that were there to see the debate at a campaign event that they really are trying hard, but the resources are not there. Eric said something very true (I paraphrase):
The time has come for our State's government to stake education seriously. We can longer accept the attitude, most recently shown in the debate, that we're doing enough, and we don't need to do any more.
Eric went on to point out that teachers would be happy even if they didn't get a raise but just could have better working conditions. Teachers at Central HS have had to take on a sixth class. At the elementary level, teachers need more planning time. Eric said that they need both: we need better salaries to be competitive (Wyoming is hiring our teachers away: 21 from the Black Hills just this year, according to one local teacher involved in the union) AND we need to give our teachers more prep time and materials. I'm sick of sending Kleenex to school because the school budget doesn't cover it for my kids.

Billion and Abrahamson have a plan to truly restructure things and get more money to the schools by growing the economy and shifting resources, starting with a full audit of the state government. Are we going to give them a chance to make some progress, or is South Dakota happy with the "same ol'" from our current Governor.

I hope not! Please... Back Jack!!


  1. I attended the debate in Spearfish between Billion & Rounds. I have to agree with Billion, I don't live in the same state that Rounds describes.
    He does not see any problems, the status quo is fine.

  2. Anonymous22:52

    For a Gov. with billboards touting his "vision", I'd suggest a pair of glasses to correct his nearsightedness.