South Dakota legislators recently completed their letter of intent requesting school districts use the additional $2.2 million appropriated as part of Senate Bill 188 to improve teacher salaries.
Senate Bill 188 provides a 3.35 percent increase to the per-student allocation for the 2014-15 school year and sets the PSA at approximately $4,781. The additional $2.2 million will be distributed via an extra $16.72 per student to school districts. The increase over three percent is the first since 2008.
The letter of intent states districts must put their portion of the added dollars towards improving the salaries of certified teachers on an ongoing basis.
In addition, the legislature is asking districts complete a certification form attached to the letter noting the additional increase “in the PSA was used in accordance with the intent” and return it to DOE, which will provide a report to the legislature on the distribution of the additional dollars.
The Department of Education will be mailing the official version of the legislature’s letter of intent, which will also include a certification of teacher salary increase form asking districts if they provided a minimum of a .35 percent ongoing increase to teacher salaries.
DOE will provide a report on the increase distribution to the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations in December.
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