Issues
SDEA is much more than an association—we are an active lobbying group dedicated to protecting the rights of teachers and securing proper funding for public education.

SDEA and the NEA is Committed to:


ENSURING CHILDREN'S HEALTH AND SAFETY 
  • Sufficient funding provided by the state and other sources to ensure that buildings are secure, structurally and environmentally safe, and meet 21st century instructional needs.
  • A drug-free, tobacco-free, and weapon-free learning environment.
  • Funding based on current costs—not averages—for serving those with disabilities (ages birth to 21-years-old).
  • The requirement that school districts provide safe and well-regulated transportation or reimbursement to parents/guardians for transportation of students to and from public school.
  • A learning environment free from intimidation, bullying, harassment, and violence.
  • A learning environment with access to certified counselors, social workers, mental health professionals, and appropriate medical and nutritional personnel.

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR JOBS OF THE FUTURE
  • Broad-based curriculum and research-based standards supported by a complement of services that prepare students for life-long learning.
  • The implementation of career and technical preparation programs that position students for jobs of the future.
  • State funding for post-secondary scholarships across a broad spectrum of student abilities.
  • Development of a comprehensive plan to determine individual student growth.

STRENGTHENING PUBLIC EDUCATION
  • Increasing state funds for public education to the regional per-student average of South Dakota's six bordering states programs for pre K-12, career and tech­nical institutes, and post-secondary education at both under­graduate and graduate levels.
  • Through existing resources, SDEA/NEA will work with state legislators to ensure that the state's funding formula for K-12 education meets the needs of all school districts in South Dakota and allows all districts to grant meaningful salary and benefit increases to teachers and education support professionals.
  • Keeping public dollars for public education students.
  • The use of accreditation standards by the State Board of Education in the school accreditation process.
  • Efforts to have appropriately certified and endorsed educators in all positions.
  • The limitation on the amount of money school dis­tricts can maintain or carry over in their fund balances.
  • A long-term solution which includes a balanced tax structure to fund public education in South Dakota.
  • School terms that include student contact days and/or hours, professional development/curriculum days, and family conferences.
  • The rejection of any taxation plans that adversely affect education funding.
  • A full-time, all-day kindergarten program.
  • Sufficient funding for the programs and resources needed to address the change in compulsory attendance.
  • Legislation promoting enhanced teacher quality through instructional leadership, rigorous and responsive teacher preparation programs, quality mentoring, and sound professional development programs that support South Dakota professional teacher standards.
  • Sufficient time, funding, and resources to provide professional development to address changes required by the implementation of state and federally mandated initiatives.
  • Efforts to expand Early Childhood Education programs.
  • Efforts to ensure all Kindergarten students are at least five years old at the start of the school year.
  • Student assessments that inform instruction and improve student learning. Such assessments should provide for multiple measures of learning, including measures that assess higher order thinking skills.

RESPECTING EDUCATION EMPLOYEES
  • Increasing the salaries of all education employees to the regional average or above.
  • Supporting legislation which would fund health benefits for public school employees.
  • Efforts to strengthen collective bargaining rights and achieve greater equity at the bargaining table (i.e., binding arbitration).
  • Legislation that would require rationale be given on decisions by the South Dakota Department of Labor regarding bargaining issues.
  • Efforts and legislation to maintain and/or increase the South Dakota Retirement System benefit factor and/or to protect the SDRS Pension Trust Fund sustainability. These efforts shall include, but not be limited to, building a coalition including all organized employee groups covered under SDRS.
  • Legislation that ensures that there are collectively-bargained salaries and incentives to attract and retain quality educators.
  • Legislation that supports enhanced compensation systems that are locally bargained, based on multiple measures, resulting in improved instruction and/or effectiveness and encouraging teacher collaboration, not competition or merit pay.
  • Providing a negotiated per diem increase in pay for all school employees if there is an increase in the school term.
  • The increase of support professionals' salaries to equal or surpass the national livable wage.
  • The representation of all levels of instruction in the planning/development and implementation of educational policy.
  • Maintaining continuing contract provisions in the law.
  • A work environment free from intimidation, bullying, harassment and violence.