South Dakota’s 90th legislative session got underway on Tuesday (Jan. 13) with Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s State of the State Address.
There was very little said about K-12 education and the teacher shortage our schools are facing by Gov. Daugaard during the address, but that should not deter our advocacy efforts.
“Everyone is looking for solutions to the teacher shortage,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said. “It’s not an issue that’s going to be solved by one person or in one speech.”
“We need to work closely with our legislators to find a solution.”
Find out which legislators represent your district here.
We need everyone to contact their legislators and regularly communicate with them to forge a strong relationship that could benefit the future of K-12 education.
Let your legislators know exactly how the teacher shortage is affecting your district.
Legislation addressing the shortage is expected to be introduced during session and you’ll want to arm your local legislators with information about how the shortage has affected your district so they can advocate in support of the legislation.
Even more important, we need to make it known, that while local school boards do set teacher salaries, the main source of funding for schools to set those salaries comes from the state aid that’s set by state law and we cannot improve teacher salaries solely at the local level.
“Please, get to your legislators,” Pogany said.
“Ask them to work with you, your fellow board members, your district’s administrators and teachers and ASBSD and other education advocates in Pierre, so we can find a solution to the teacher shortage.”