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Press Release

South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) Stands Firm Against Initiated Measure 28

The South Dakota Education Association, representing over 6,000 educators across the state, unequivocally opposes Initiated Measure 28. This measure threatens the very foundation of public education in South Dakota, jeopardizing the future of our students and communities.
teacher demoralization
Published: July 9, 2024

The Impact of IM 28 on Education Funding

Initiated Measure 28, if passed, would result in substantial cuts to state funding for public education. Mr. Sanderson’s analysis estimates a reduction of at least $176 million in state revenues annually. Such drastic cuts to state revenues would directly affect K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, leaving local school districts struggling to maintain essential services or asking the local property taxpayers to foot more of the bill.

Approximately one-third of the state budget currently supports local school districts. When factoring in funding for higher education, nearly 44.2% of the state’s annual budget is dedicated to educating South Dakota’s students. IM 28 threatens to disrupt this critical investment.

Lack of a Viable Replacement Plan

Supporters of IM 28 have failed to present a viable plan to offset the lost revenues. Without a clear strategy, South Dakota students would face larger class sizes, reduced educational opportunities, and diminished support systems. Programs such as career and technical education classes, essential for student success, could be on the chopping block.

Teacher Shortage and Compensation

South Dakota already grapples with a teacher shortage. In recent years, lawmakers have increased state aid to education beyond the statutory requirement of three percent, aiming to attract and retain qualified educators. IM 28’s cuts would undermine this progress, potentially taking us back to the days when South Dakota was dead last at 51st in teacher pay nationwide.

Higher Education Costs

South Dakota has successfully frozen tuition for students attending public universities and technical colleges for three consecutive years. However, IM 28 threatens to reverse this trend, leading to increased tuition costs for higher education institutions.

Our Call to Action

In summary, the passage of IM 28 would come at a very high cost to South Dakota students. The SDEA urges voters to reject this measure in November. Let us continue investing in our schools, teachers, and students by voting NO on Initiated Measure 28.

Sandra Waltman Director of Public Affairs
South Dakota Education Association 
Phone: (605) 280-5788 
Email: [email protected]

About SDEA: SDEA is South Dakota’s largest education professionals’ organization, representing more than 6,000 elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers


It's about our kids.

The South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) is a professional organization working hard for educators, so they can continue to work hard for our kids. SDEA members provide a wide range of professional education services in communities throughout the state.