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December08

Ask your legislators if they’ll follow the state funding law

Now is the time to get your legislators in to your schools, at your board meetings or in any venue and ask them if they support the school funding expectation set forth in state law and in the state Constitution.

 

“We’re talking about an expectation in state law for funding schools and you, as leaders in public education MUST get to your legislators and ask them if they will follow the requirement set forth in the law,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.

 

Click here to download a list of which legislators represent which school districts and click here to find their contact information.

 

ASBSD is imploring school boards and administrators to meet or speak with your area legislators PRIOR to the start of the 2019 legislative session, which begins on Tuesday, January 8, and ask them the following question:

  • “Will they commit to follow the law and push appropriators to fund what schools are entitled to receive?”

State law (SDCL 13-13-10.1) says:

 

The “Index factor,” is the annual percentage change in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers as computed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor for the year before the year immediately preceding the year of adjustment or three percent, whichever is less;

 

This means schools should receive an increase of AT LEAST the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) or 3 percent, whichever is less. CPI-W for the coming fiscal year is 2.3 percent, which is the MINIMUM increase schools should receive when the state budget is approved during legislative session.

 

Regardless of what the budgetary proposed increase in state funding is the advocating focus among school leaders must be to ensure the ACTUAL APPROPRIATED funding increase for schools is 2.3 percent.

 

“All we’re asking is for the law to be followed,” Pogany said. “Schools need that to keep up with their teacher salaries and other costs they have.”

 

In addition, in Article 8 of the South Dakota Constitution makes it clear the Legislature has a constitutional duty to fund public education, as it states:

  • 1. Uniform system of free public schools. The stability of a republican form of government depending on the morality and intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature to establish and maintain a general and uniform system of public schools wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all; and to adopt all suitable means to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.

 

“We’re asking school leaders to utilize this information to get in contact with their legislators and ask them if they will follow what’s required in law,” Pogany said.

 

Click here to download a list of which legislators represent which school districts and click here to find their contact information.

 

If you have questions about advocating for state aid, please contact ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany at wpogany@asbsd.org or at 605-773-2500.

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