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February05

News and notes

Critical needs scholarship returns

 

Senate Bill 233 brings back a familiar piece of legislation from last year. The bill is looking to establish the critical needs teaching scholarship program, which was one of the lone bright spots from last year’s controversial education reform plan, House Bill 1234.

 

Senate Education committee members will have first review of the bill, which calls for $5 million from the general fund to kick start the program’s trust fund, at this morning’s hearing. SB 233 looks to put a variety of criteria in place for student’s looking to enter the teaching profession in a critical needs area and stay in South Dakota after completing their degree.

 

“I think everyone agreed the scholarship program was a great idea in House Bill 1234 and this bill has the potential to be a positive for the future of K-12 education,” Executive Director Wade Pogany said. “At the same time, it takes $5 million out of the general fund at a time when school districts could really use those dollars so we’re going to have to watch the bill’s development.”

 

Posting information online

 

House Local Government committee members will hear testimony this morning on a bill that would allow school districts to post any notice, minutes, bid, document or other information online.

 

House Bill 1224 would require a school district to put notice of the change and where the information can be found in the official school newspaper twice a year. In addition, school districts would have to designate a place where a hard copy of the information would be posted. ASBSD supports the bill.

 

“The Internet has become the outlet where most people get their information and this bill allows school districts to follow that trend,” Pogany said.

 

Flexible spending bill moves to Governor’s desk

 

House Bill 1064, which allows school districts to implement flexible spending accounts as part of health insurance plans, was unanimously passed by the Senate yesterday. The bill has one last step before being enacted into law as it awaits Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s signature.

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