Winter weather put the initial ASBSD Delegate Assembly date on hold and brought its blusteriness to the day again, but didn’t stop 70 delegates from setting the Association’s legislative direction for the 2017 session.
“ASBSD and school board members unite to form is a powerful grassroots advocacy network that helps lead public education forward in South Dakota,” ASBSD President Anita Peterson said. “Our students, schools and we, as school board members, still face many challenges.”
“The decisions we make, as school board members, are done so with the best interests of our community and children in mind and we must preserve the rights of the school board.”
The Assembly floor saw the introduction and passage of one new resolution, which was endorsed by the ASBSD Board of Directors at their meeting the day prior to Delegate Assembly, and five amendments to resolutions that were updated from what was included in the initial Delegate Assembly packet.
Delegates adopted a freshly introduced – submitted to ASBSD by the Sioux Falls School District and endorsed by the ASBSD Board – resolution related to the new conflict of interest laws passed during the 2016 legislative session.
Resolution B10. Conflict of Interest and its rationale state:
RESOLUTION: ASBSD supports amending the newly enacted Conflict of Interest laws (SDCL3-23-6 through 9, inclusive) to clarify and simplify: to whom the reporting requirements apply, the circumstances in which reporting is required, and the reporting requirement and process.
RATIONALE: The newly enacted conflict of interest laws are under review and need further clarification.
An amendment to the rationale of resolution A6. School Employee Compensation was adopted. The inclusion to the rationale is as follows:
RATIONALE: The State Aid increase of “3% or inflation, whichever is less,” is not realistic. The annual increase should more closely resemble the State’s typical salary and benefit per FTE increase for its own employees of 4.2% per year.
Delegates approved another rationale amendment, this time for resolution B5. Private School Scholarship Program. The amendment to the rationale includes:
RATIONALE: ASBSD supports amending SDCL 13-65 to require contributions to the scholarship fund to become public information. ASBSD also supports amending SDCL 13-65 to require any school receiving funds under SDCL 13-65 to follow all state requirements that public schools follow, including (but not limited to) accepting students under the State’s Open Enrollment statutes and requiring the school to continue educating all accepted students until tuition/scholarship dollars are no longer paid or the student is expelled pursuant to State law.
An amendment to resolution B7. Use of Bathroom, Locker Room and Other Facilities, which was endorsed by the ASBSD Board, was also approved by Delegates. The amended resolution reads as follows, with the change highlighted in red:
RESOLUTION: ASBSD supports the judgment and integrity of local school boards and school districts to act in the best interest of their students, school and community and show respect for all students, staff and other individuals including using bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities.
An addition was made to resolution C1. School Funding by the Delegates. The added bullet point to the resolution stated:
- Allows school districts whose maximum per student capital outlay levy is under the state average to maintain or increase their Capital Outlay up to $3.000 per thousand at the discretion of the school board.
The final amended resolution, C4. School Funding – Two-Year Enrollment Averaging, was initiated on the floor and adopted. The resolution reads as follows, with the amendment highlighted in red:
RESOLUTION: ASBSD supports reinstating two-year enrollment averaging or current enrollment, whichever is larger, in place of the fall enrollment count for the state aid formula calculation.
The platform also includes ASBSD Advocacy Priorities, which is comprised of three resolutions Delegates requested the Association focus on during legislative session. Those priorities include:
- Private School Scholarship Program
- School Funding
- School Funding – Two-Year Enrollment Averaging
Finally, Delegates approved a change to ASBSD’s Constitution and By-laws, which will expedite the appointment process of Delegates for member districts.
An amendment to Section 4. Appointment of Delegates of Article V – Delegate Assembly, states:
The school board of member schools shall submit to the Executive Director the names of their delegate and alternate at least 10 days prior to the Delegate Assembly.
The change will expedite the process of Delegate appointment by eliminating the Delegate Certification form. In place of the certification form, school districts will simply submit the name of the board member they appointed as their Delegate to ASBSD via email; the new process would cut down on paper work for the school district and for ASBSD.
With ASBSD’s legislative platform in place, the Association turns its attention to the 2017 legislative session and we’ll need to continue the strong advocacy partnership we have with our member districts to accomplish what we set out to do during session.
It is vital for your district to appoint a Legislative Action Network member.
“Our schools are still facing many challenges entering this session and we need our LAN members to be prepared for the work ahead,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
Learn more about the role LAN has during session here.