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February20

Committee tables teacher recruitment program

A bill promoting teacher recruitment to rural school districts did not survive committee action.

 

Senate Bill 144, which would create a tuition reimbursement program for certain teachers teaching in rural school districts, was sent to the 41st legislative day by the Senate Appropriations committee.

 

SB 144 would have established the reimbursement fund for teachers of rural school districts – defined as a district located in a town with a population less than 10,000 – who have taught in the district for five years. Funding for the program would have been generated from South Dakota’s future fund.

 

At the bill’s initial hearing earlier this month, Sen. Billie Sutton, the prime sponsor of the bill, said he was willing to strike the funding source and look for dollars elsewhere. The bill also allowed private donations to fund the program.

 

ASBSD supported SB 144.

 

Despite the fall of SB 144, a piece of legislation proposing a program to improve teacher pay remains on the Senate Appropriations agenda.

 

House Bill 1092, which encourages individuals working in school districts with 600 or fewer students to earn a bachelor’s degree in education and return to the district to teach,  currently has $1 placeholder funding attached to it as it awaits hearing.

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