Unlike the House of Representatives, there was no resistance vocalized in the Senate for House Concurrent Resolution 1002. However, unlike the House (49-18 pass), the Senate voted down the resolution, 19-15.
HCR 1002 acknowledges the teacher shortage and the difficulties districts in South Dakota face in attracting and retaining qualified teachers. ASBSD supported the resolution.
The resolution emerged from the interim committee charged with studying school funding. In testimony last week in the House, the committee’s Chairwoman Rep. Jacqueline Sly said the scope of the study did not call for the introduction of a bill by the committee, but testimony from school officials during the study supported a resolution.
A legislative resolution holds no weight of law and simply recognizes an issue in the state.
“We need to move forward and do our part,” Sen. Larry Tidemann, the school funding committee’s Vice Chair, said during his testimony in front of the Senate in support of the resolution. “We do have a teacher shortage. We can do nothing or we can recognize there is a problem.”
Sen. Tidemann noted testimony during the committee meetings identified a lack of applicants for teaching positions. Sen. Chuck Welke, also a committee member, echoed the statement.
“We heard story after story from schools of all sizes…struggling to find teachers,” Sen. Welke said.
Senators did vote to favor HCR 1001, which encourages districts to build on their individual strengths by working together with other districts to provide a rich educational opportunity for all students, on a 32-2 vote.
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