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.