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November18

Survey shows teacher salaries up nearly 12 percent

A survey conducted this fall by the South Dakota Department of Education revealed a nearly 12 percent increase in average teacher salaries this year compared to last.

 

According to the survey of school districts, the projected average salary of public school teachers for Fiscal Year 2017 is $46,924, which represents an 11.9 percent increase statewide.

 

A comparison of actual FY16 teacher salaries and projected FY17 salaries, by school district, is available on the Department of Education’s website.

 

“I am very pleased that, in one year, our schools have made incredible progress toward our target salary goal,” Gov. Dennis Daugaard said in a statement.

 

“The new funding formula asks schools to become more efficient, and we know that will take some time. An increase of nearly 12 percent in the first year indicates that our schools kept their commitment to invest this new funding in our teachers.”

 

The numbers are based on salaries paid last year, the number of teachers in a school district and the spending choices made by local school boards in setting their budgets for this year. The data does not include benefits provided, which is included in the new formula’s calculation passed during the 2016 legislative session, and final data will not be available until fall 2017.

 

A key part in passing the half-cent sales tax increase, which provided new funding for schools to increase teacher salaries, was the goal of achieving a statewide average teacher salary of $48,500.

 

“This preliminary data shows that our school boards and districts have followed through on what was asked of them and put the new money towards teacher salaries,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.

 

“I’m confident that when benefits are added and final numbers tabulated we’ll see our schools followed through on their commitment to reward our state’s excellent teachers and we’ll be close to our target.”

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