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Officials Not Done Checking Teacher Bill Referral

June 29, 2012, 2:57 PM

PIERRE, SD -

South Dakota election officials expect to determine early next week whether enough valid petition signatures have been submitted to refer Gov. Dennis Daugaard's controversial education plan to a public vote.

Opponents two weeks ago submitted about 30,000 signatures, nearly double the number needed to refer the measure passed by this year's Legislature to a vote in the November election.

Secretary of State Jason Gant says his office expects to finish checking signatures by Monday or Tuesday. If 15,885 valid signatures were submitted, the law will be suspended pending the outcome of the fall election.

The measure would give bonuses to top teachers, phase out teacher tenure and recruit new teachers into critical subjects.

Daugaard says the measure will improve student achievement. Opponents say it would hurt the quality of education.

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