Separate paths for staffing solution bills

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Separate paths for staffing solution bills

Two bills dealing with staffing in schools saw different ends.


House Bill 1261, which establishes emergency retire-rehire provisions for the South Dakota Retirement System, was defeated on a 10-3 vote.


The bill, which was supported by ASBSD, would have permitted teachers who had been retired for a year to be hired by schools without jeopardizing their South Dakota Retirement System benefit.


“This is a workforce issue in our schools,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany testified, adding schools are looking for “every teacher that we can find” as job openings have increased in recent years.


Opponents of the bill argued the bill would potentially jeopardize the SDRS system and set a bad precedent by reintroducing the retire-rehire concept. Rep. Kent Peterson, the bill’s prime sponsor, acknowledge the concerns, but noted the teacher shortage problem was not going to be solved without changes.


“We’re elected to solve problems,” Rep. Peterson told committee members. “This is a real issue. It’s not going away.”


A proposal attempting to solve schools’ problems in attracting non-classified staff seeks support in the Senate after being passed by the House.


House Bill 1308, which provides for the payment of signing bonuses to school district staff member, was passed 12-1 by the House State Affairs committee and by the House unanimously then made it to the Senate floor after Senate Education voted 5-2 in its favor.


The bill expands the opportunity for signing bonuses to be paid by schools to staff members, as well as teachers, who can already be paid signing bonuses.


ASBSD supports the bill with Executive Director Wade Pogany testifying about the difficulty schools are having “trying to find” non-classified staff members and saying the bill “gives school boards and administrators a little bit of flexibility” in attracting these staff members.


HB 1308 awaits committee appointment in the Senate.


For updates on the bill and other pieces of 2022 legislation, check the ASBSD Blog and Billtracker page.

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