Members of the ASBSD Board of Directors met for the first time in 2016 to welcome a new member to the group and follow up on the latest from legislative session.
Montrose School Board Member Alan Van Ruler attended his inaugural meeting as a member of the Board Directors, since being appointed ASBSD President Eric Stroeder to represent the Southeastern Region, 265 and under enrollment category.
Van Ruler is currently serving his seventh year on his local school board, which has included three years as the district’s representative on the Corn Belt Cooperative Board of Directors, and has served as his local board’s ASBSD Legislative Action Network representative and Delegate for ASBSD Delegate Assembly.
Van Ruler noted he was excited to be a part of the board and looked forward to representing his constituent board members.
Board of Director Members also received an update on legislative session, which thus far has been dominated by discussion about the half cent sales tax increase that would go to supporting a much needed increase in teacher salaries.
“The sales tax and teacher pay issues is as high level of politics as you can get,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said. “You folks are a large part of the discussion and the grassroots advocacy effort that’s pushed it this far.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind though that we have some work left to do.”
Indeed, after sailing through a House Appropriations committee hearing, House Bill 1182, which, if passed, would raise the state’s sales tax for the first time since 1969, stalled in its first debate on the House floor after a group of legislators invoked a legislative rule last Wednesday (2/10) postponing further discussion.
Many ASBSD Board of Director members and fellow school board members from across the state will be in the House on Tuesday (2/16), as part of ASBSD’s Legislative Day, to hear more debate. Although the legislative rule – Joint Rule 5-17 – can be invoked a second time, which would delay the debate and vote until Thursday (5/18).
ASBSD Board members remained steadfast in their support of the sales tax increase, and the accompanying updates to the state’s education funding formula, and will be watching this week’s debates and vote closely.
“Pay close attention to what people tell you, believe what they show you,” Pogany said. “Win, lose or draw, we need to say ‘thank you’ to those who supported us.”
Board members also:
- Heard a report from Board of Regents System Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Pierre School Board President, Paul Turman on the different dashboard statistics collected by BOR that school board members can review – including High School Transition, College Matriculation and Freshmen Migration, among others – to help them evaluate their own districts. You can find the dashboard statistics here.
- Retained Palmer, Currier & Hoffert, LLP as the auditor for ASBSD.
- Heard an ASBSD financial and ASB Protective Trust report from Chief Financial Officer Matt Flett.
- Reviewed policy related to the South Dakota Teacher Placement Center.
- Received an update from Pogany on the current ASBSD Board of Directors election cycle. Deadline for candidate announcement is Friday, February 19. More information here.