Education

Education is the greatest opportunity that we can offer the citizens of South Dakota. The quality of life in South Dakota is dependent on the quality of our education. Life-long education is crucial to our democracy, to our economic development, and to our continued growth and well-being as individuals, families, and communities. The citizens of South Dakota have the right to the best education possible.

The South Dakota Democratic Party supports:

I. Strengthening pre-K-12 Public Education

  • Funding education as mandated under the South Dakota State Constitution should be addressed first during the legislative session.
  • Requiring that public dollars stay within the public education system.
  • Funding for public, early childhood education.
  • State Aid for preK-12 education at a level that is competitive with neighboring states.
  • Initial and ongoing funding for professional development and to establish a mentoring program to facilitate retention of quality teachers and staff.
  • All day/every day Kindergarten as part of our educational system.
  • Adequate funding of the SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

II. Quality Post-Secondary Education Access

  • The continued success and funding of our four Technical Institutions.
  • The continued development and success of the Tribal Colleges and Universities.
  • Adequate funding of the public SD Universities to support quality teaching, research, and student research opportunities.
  • The continued support and funding of the Opportunity Scholarship Program, and Build Dakota Scholarship.
  • Support and increase funding of a state needs-based post-secondary scholarship/loan
  • Legislation that guarantees that each student has equal access to all educational opportunities, including alternatives, within the public educational framework.
  • In the interest of continued success and retention of students, efforts should be made to make post-secondary education more affordable.

III. Technology & Infrastructure

  • Technology initiatives to ensure all South Dakota schools have the modern technology infrastructure and support necessary to prepare our students for the 21st century global economy.
  • Initiatives to help resource-poor communities construct adequate school facilities.

IV. Employee and Student Rights

  • All employees of public education will have the right to collective bargaining with binding arbitration if an impasse occurs during negotiations.
  • All students and employees will have equal rights and treatment regardless of race, ethnicity, native language, socioeconomic status, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.