Gov. Kristi Noem came up with proposed funding for state aid above what’s required by law in the first budget address of her tenure.
Gov. Noem’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020 included an increase to state aid of 2.5 percent, which is 0.2 percent higher than what’s required in state statute, as inflation came in at 2.3 percent.
The proposed increase would add $11.1 million in ongoing funding to state aid.
“We’re thrilled with the increased ongoing investment in funding Gov. Noem is making in our public schools,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“Her commitment to exceeding what’s required in state law will help our schools keep pace with the investment in teacher pay made three years ago and enhance our public education system.”
Gov. Noem’s proposal is slightly higher than what former Gov. Dennis Daugaard proposed in his final budget address in December – at 2.3 percent and a total ongoing increase of $9.4 million. She also noted she does not plan to make any changes to the state aid funding formula for the upcoming fiscal year.
In addition, Gov. Noem noted plans to include $731,000 in funding for life-skills training for middle school students to reduce students’ risk of alcohol, tobacco or drug use and violent behavior and $351,000 for System Care School Coordinators to work with schools to identify mental crises in students and connect schools and families with mental health services for students.
The proposed budget did not include “new projected revenues” from the recently implemented remote sales tax, which she noted remains an unknown in terms of revenue production. She added that while she supported the Partridge Amendment – a state statute that calls for the reduction of the state sales tax by one-tenth percent for every $20 million raised by the online sales tax – “it would be premature to attempt to cut taxes” at this point.
Gov. Noem’s budget proposal will be reviewed by the legislature and the final budget proposal for the state for FY20 must be adopted by Wednesday, March 13 – the final day of the main run of this year’s legislative session.