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Educator: Funding Vital To Students' Futures

January 7, 2013, 5:59 AM by Kellee Azar

Educator: Funding Vital To Students' Futures

After November’s election there is a lot for legislators to think about when it comes to funding education in South Dakota.
With many different ideas on the table, the problem seems to keep coming back to one thing: money.

Educators, parents and even legislators can agree that education paves the road for a student's future.  It’s that feeling that has school administrators hoping for more funding in this year's legislative session.

"If we were allowed to have more dollars like the state law requires or says that we should have, we would have more staff members we would have smaller class sizes and that, in turn, would relate to better school teaching for our kids and higher test scores," Harrisburg Superintendent Jim Holbeck said.

Getting more funding for the Harrisburg School District is constant battle for Holbeck.  It's one he hopes can end well, and be involved in.

"I would say that if there are some sweeping changes that hopefully legislators and governor will involve school people administrators and teachers and talk those through before we see them on the floor," Holbeck said.

State Senator Mark Johnston understands the need for education funding, but he points out that when looking at the facts, education is already getting the biggest chunk of tax dollars.

"We need to start with the facts, we currently in our South Dakota budget spend 50 cents per tax dollar that folks send to us, we spend 50 cents on education that's a big chunk obviously, the biggest chunk," Johnston said.

But Johnston says they won’t stop there for education.

"We are going to vote on a budget this year, which gives school districts an additional 3 percent increase over their base funding," Johnston said.

With more money, Holbeck says it means an all around better future for students.

"We would have more staff members, we would have smaller class sizes and that, in turn, would relate to better school teaching for our kids and higher test scores," Holbeck said.

The Legislative Session officially begins Tuesday.

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