S.D. tech colleges seek big budget hikes

Capitol News Bureau

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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The panel that represents South Dakota’s four public technical colleges approved a budget request Monday that is significantly larger.

The state Board of Technical Education voted 6-0 to seek $40,075,918.80. That would be a $6,084,158.35 increase over the current $33,991,760.50 of ongoing and one-time support.

The board also plans to ask for about $16,500,000 in one-time funding that would pay for facility improvements at Lake Area Tech in Watertown, Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls and Mitchell Tech.

“We’re really operating on two tracks,” Nick Wendell, the board’s executive director, said.

His report goes to the state Bureau of Finance and Management in August. From there, Governor Kristi Noem will decide how much to request from the Legislature in December. The Legislature will decide in February or March how much to provide for the budget year that starts July 1, 2022.

The proposal was developed by the board and its staff at a retreat at Sutton’s Bay resort In June.

“I think we’ve got a great request going in,” board president Dana Dykhouse of Sioux Falls said. He added after the vote, “As you know, now the work begins.”

The board also set an August 18 public hearing date on proposed rules changes. One would repeal the current chapter for adding and deleting instructional programs and change that to board policy. The second would revise the system for instructor-salary support. The third would define the continuing program review requirements of an academic program.

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