Ed. task force listening session dates set, input needed

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Ed. task force listening session dates set, input needed

School board members and administrators can add another date, or six, to their calendar as South Dakota’s Blue Ribbon Task Force – charged with solving the teacher shortage, reviewing school funding and examining student achievement – has scheduled six listening sessions across the state.


Meetings are expected to run from 6:30 to 8 p.m., as reported by the Argus Leader, and dates and cities include:

  • Tuesday, June 2 in Chamberlain
  • Wednesday, June 3 in Rapid City
  • Tuesday, June 16 in Sioux Falls
  • Wednesday, June 17 in Yankton
  • Monday, June 22 in Watertown
  • Tuesday, June 23 in Aberdeen

Specific venues have not been set, but when available ASBSD will pass them along. For now, all stakeholders in education should plan to attend the meeting, or meetings, in the area and let the Task Force know the needs of their school.


“We need board members and administrators to get to these meetings and let the legislators and state officials know the issues schools are facing in funding and with the teacher shortage,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.


“We need long-term fixes to these problems and right now this is our best option for solutions.”


Gov. Daugaard announced plans for the Task Force in February and madethe first wave of appointments in March.


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The Task Force will be co-chaired by Rep. Jacqueline Sly and Sen. Deb Soholt; each of whom chaired their respective chamber’s education committee during the 2015 legislative session.


Joining Rep. Sly on the Task Force from the House is Rep. Justin Cronin, Chair of the House Appropriations committee, Rep. Paula Hawks, a member of the House Education committee, Rep. Mark Mickelson, Speaker Pro Temp, and Rep. Steve Westra, Assistant Majority Leader.


Senators joining Sen. Soholt on the Task Force, include Sen. Corey Brown, President Pro Temp, Sen. Troy Heinert, Assistant Minority Leader, Sen. Billie Sutton, Minority Leader, and Sen. Craig Tieszen, Chair of the House Judiciary committee.


Secretary of Education Melody Schopp, Gov. Daugaard’s Chief of Staff Tony Venhuizen and Commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management Jason Dilges were also appointed to the Task Force.


The Task Force will eventually include school board members, administrators, teachers and parents, who will be appointed following the six input meetings.


The full Blue Ribbon Task Force will meet through the summer and present recommendations in the fall.


For updates on the Task Force, check the ASBSD Blog and Twitter feed.

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