A South Dakota House panel has rejected a measure that sought to increase state funding for school districts.
The State Affairs Committee voted 9-2 along party lines to kill the proposal by minority Democrats. The measure would have set a funding goal equal to the average spent by South Dakota and six surrounding states. If that goal were met, annual spending would jump about $1,700 per student.
House Democratic Leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says that after the non-binding goal was set, the Legislature could have decided how to come up with money to meet that goal. Opponents say increased spending does not necessarily lead to improved student performance.
Hunhoff says South Dakota will lose some of its best teachers if it continues to spend less on education than nearby states.