South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf released the following statement after the Senate Education Committee dismissed the concerns of school boards, administrators, teachers, and community leaders – many of whom previously supported HB 1234, Governor Daugaard’s education agenda – to pass the amended measure.
“The entire conversation about education mandates serves only as a distraction from the real issue facing schools: the massive funding cuts that the Governor demanded last year. These cuts forced schools to either slash the very programs that help improve student achievement or raise taxes to make up the difference. The message from bipartisan opponents is clear: stop this distraction, put the money back into the school funding formula, and then take a year to study the rest of the issues.”
Groups including the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, School Administrators of South Dakota, and the United School Districts lined up in opposition at the Senate Education Committee hearing today, after testifying in support of HB 1234 in the House Education Committee two weeks ago.