The bill I worked on for the Bill Tracker assignment that was assigned in Government class was the teacher pay bill. This was an interesting bill to learn about since I feel that teachers don’t get the pay they deserve for the service they provide. In 2015, South Dakota was rated 42nd out of 50 states in teacher pay. Believe it or not that is a decent step from the ratings of previous years.
Oh, the dreaded Monday. We all experience and endure it, although depending on your specific schedule, your Monday might fall on a Thursday. Still, we understand the concept of Monday melancholy. I’ve never been one to shy away from Mondays. It’s as good a time as any to get things done and put things off. But I have to confess: lately they’ve been getting to me. I find myself feeling listless and unmotivated on the first day of the standard workweek.
A significant number of Americans struggle with mental illness. For many the struggle is silent. Some experience short-term mental health problems, as it’s not uncommon for individuals to temporarily face mild forms of mental illness throughout their lives. For others though, it’s a lifelong battle that requires consistent treatment. No community is untouched by mental illness. It deeply affects schools, work places and families.
It was a normal unassuming typical Tuesday, the day the peanut butter went missing. I couldn’t believe it myself. Although looking back, it shouldn’t have been too big a surprise. But I’m jumping ahead of the story. I enjoy a piece of peanut butter toast on occasion. Last Tuesday was going to be one of those occasions. I took out the bread and the toaster and opened the cupboard to fetch the peanut butter. It was gone.
I count the recent superintendent interviews at Timber Lake School as a victory for transparency and accountability. Since I’ve often been critical of our school board (and other boards) when they conduct business behind closed doors, I feel an obligation to give them a pat on the back for including the public in the interview process. It’s a step in the right direction.
It can seem overwhelming sometimes – this thing called life. You awaken at 4:00 a.m. because it is a “migraine day,” and roll over while trying not to move your head, just hoping to get back to sleep for another hour or two. You discover the furnace needs repairs and the washing machine needs replacing – all in the same day.
Somewhere around this time of year it happens as the bright mid-winter sun moves across the open sky, turning each and every fence post into a sundial as tired, aging snow melts off the prairie. The seasons wrestle for control as spring growth rises toward the surface, stopping to take the temperature of the earth, resting briefly in the warmth before breaking ground and racing diligently toward the sun.
This week is Sunshine Week, a national observance to spotlight the importance of openness and transparency in government at all levels. Open government is fundamental to good government. Openness builds citizen trust and confidence in government.
One week left! Tuesday, the 8th is the last day for bill discussion in each chamber. The rest of the week is spent negotiating amendments and budget. The much-debated Governor’s education bill barely passed the Senate on Tuesday (March 1) and is headed for the Governor’s desk.