A new system to serve ALL of our students

Edgar's picture

By Gov. Dennis Daugaard

Nearly 50 cents of every state tax dollar goes to education. That includes funding for our public universities, technical schools, and the state Department of Education, but the majority is used to fund our K-12 system. Given that education makes up such a large portion of our budget, we need to routinely evaluate how we are doing as a state. We should often ask ourselves this question: Are we sufficiently preparing our students for what comes next?

About a year ago, we pulled together data that indicated that the answer to this question, for most of our high school students, is “No.” Of our students who start 9th grade, 80-90 percent will finish. About 70 percent of those will enroll in post-secondary education. This is less than two-thirds of those who started 9th grade. Of those who enroll at a tech school or university, only 50- 60 percent will graduate. Thus, only a fraction of our students who started 9th grade will earn a degree. In other words, our current system is only working for a minority of our students.

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