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RC Superintendent Talks About Education Reform

February 24, 2012, 6:25 PM by Derek Olson

RC Superintendent Talks About Education Reform
RAPID CITY, SD - The superintendent of Rapid City's schools has been following the progress of HB 1234 closely.

"I think that was a good amendment yesterday, where we started talking about if the evaluation system isn't in place, let's not mess with continuing contract," Superintendent Tim Mitchell said.

But with time running out in this year's legislative session, Mitchell says that trying to form a concrete opinion on the bill is like trying to hit a moving target.

"I really think the major concern in education now is we are having a major conversation, and the big conversation needs to be had. But are we having it too quickly? And are we getting all the research and all the information on the table? Because there's deadlines," Mitchell said.

The superintendent is currently working on cutting $4.5 million from his district's budget, which is forcing him to make some painful decisions.

"There could be a case made, very strongly, that the base is inadequate. And if it's not, no matter what we do under compensation and incentive strategies, they're not going to work," Mitchell said.

Because, even though Mitchell says he would welcome any additional money for his district, he thinks the bill is missing a key point.

"We need base funding. If then, they want to give us additional resources that are targeted, we need to make sure that we do that in a really good way," Mitchell said.

Mitchell says that the bill is changing too quickly for him to support or oppose it. However, he hopes that the discussion on education funding continues after the legislative session ends.

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