Two bills dealing with staffing in schools saw different ends.
“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.”
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.