Governor Dennis Daugaard said education will get a boost of about $24.5 million. Daugaard called this a three percent increase, but Sioux Falls School District officials disagree.
Sioux Falls School District Business Manager Todd Vik does not call proposed budget good news for education. According to Vik, the percentage increase is actually a lot lower.
Vik said Daugaard's three percent does not include one-time money given the last two years that districts will no longer receive. Without figuring in that extra money, Vik said this increase is actually at 0.8 percent.
"We have found in a typical year, not in the last couple of years, but in a typical year, the state private work force increases by four percent a year and our teachers go up about 2.7 or 2.8. It really widens that difference of what you can make as a teacher and what you can make working somewhere else," Vik said.
Vik said district officials will try to convince lawmakers that education is not getting the same level of funding as other agencies.
"Even though we were all supposed to take cuts two years ago, it seems we're the only ones in the negative territory and the rest of the state budget has grown at a pretty good clip," Vik said.
According to supporters, Initiated Measure 15 would have restored cuts to education by generating about $180 million through a one cent sales tax. Part of that money would have gone to education in the state. Voters rejected the measure in November.