Pierre – Today, during her budget address, Governor Kristi Noem proposed a 2.4 percent increase for state aid to K-12 education along with an additional $11 million in one-time dollars to provide a “bridge” for schools as they work through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The following statement can be attributed to South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) President Loren Paul:
“SDEA is pleased with Governor Noem’s budget proposal. An increase above the statutorily required 1.5 percent will help districts get back on track with offering competitive salaries and benefits to attract qualified and caring staff. This is good news for the students of South Dakota.
“The additional $11 million is also welcome as schools struggle with the impacts of COVID-19. The school year has been a struggle with a lot of extra burdens for students and teachers alike. If this proposal is adopted by the legislature, we hope these dollars will be used to lighten the load and reward staff for their extra efforts.
“We know this is only the beginning of the process, but it’s a good place to start. The budget process is a long one. However, we are looking forward to working with Governor Noem and state legislators to ensure the final numbers benefit the students of South Dakota.”