Bill strengthening JAG program in S.D. passed by comm.

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Bill strengthening JAG program in S.D. passed by comm.

A bill aimed at increasing participation in the Jobs for America’s Graduates program across the state made its way out of committee last week (1-23).


On a 7-0 vote, the Senate Education committee passed Senate Bill 39, which creates Jobs for SD’s Graduates program and special donation fund.


The public-private partnership program would allow the program to collect grant dollars, gifts, donations and other funding methods in order to initiate, expand, support, enhance or carry out the objectives of the South Dakota JAG program in districts throughout South Dakota.


“We hope to finally get JAG South Dakota on the right footing,” S.D. CTE Director Laura Scheibe said, adding that the JAG program has existed on a smaller scale in the state for years, but a “lack of continuity has hindered” expanded implementation.


“It will help us better serve students.”


Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG-SD) program consists of guidance and academic support, as well as providing students competency-based leadership and employability skills, therefore increasing their chance for success as they transition after graduation to full-time employment, higher education opportunities or other career paths.


“Your investment in JAG represents an investment in critical skills,” Wagner Community School JAG Teacher Renee Van Der Werff told committee members. “I believe the return on investment is invaluable.”


Sen. Troy Heinert cited the success the Wagner Community School District’s JAG program has seen in his support of the bill.


“I have been very familiar with JAG. How (Wagner’s program) have changed lives in your community, that is second to none,” Sen. Heinert said to those in attendance from Wagner.


“I fully support this (program).”


ASBSD is monitoring the bill, which now awaits review and vote on the Senate floor.


For updates on the bill and others during legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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