State panel proposes budget for four S.D. tech institutes

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s four public technical institutes would receive small bumps in funding from state government next year under a budget proposal endorsed Tuesday.

The state Board of Technical Education voted 9-0 to support the plan. Next stop is Governor Kristi Noem’s state Bureau of Finance and Management. The Legislature will make the final decision next winter. It would take effect next July 1.

Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, Mitchell Technical Institute in Mitchell, Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, and Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City are governed jointly by the state board and the local school boards for the districts where they are located.

Scott DesLauriers, the board’s assistant director, said the proposal follows BFM’s recommendation of a 2 percent inflation factor for most spending.

An exception is maintenance and repair. The campuses are in the second year of a six-year plan to gradually set aside up to 2 percent of the replacement value for their facilities.

That would mean $505,000 in the current budget for maintenance and repair would grow to about $927,000 in the coming budget.

The budget was assembled after the board’s strategic planning retreat last month and a one-day meeting of the four presidents, DesLauriers said.

“There’s been a lot of work that’s gone into this,” said Dana Dykhouse of Sioux Falls, the board’s chairman.

He described the plan as “really our baseline budget, a minimum” that could be expanded if legislators find more money.

The board also received its final report on 2018-2019 enrollment with the summer numbers now included. The statewide number were 6,825 for fall semester; 6,890 for spring; and 1,994 for summer. Fall 2017 enrollment was 6,652.

DesLauriers said this summer’s numbers were similar to recent past years.

“I didn’t realize there were that many,” board member Terry Sabers of Mitchell said.

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