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.