Making progress on teacher pay

Edgar's picture

Guest column

As I enter my final weeks as governor, many people are asking me to reflect on my time in office. I’m not a person who worries much about a “legacy.” I just hope that I have left things a little better than I found them. It is hard, though, not to reminisce about the events of the last eight years. One memory of which I’m very proud is the progress we made on teacher pay.

It certainly didn’t look like this would be possible when I came into office in 2011. At that time, South Dakota was still feeling the effects of the Great Recession. For two years, federal stimulus funds had delayed the need for budget cuts. As I took office, though, those funds had reached their end, and my first budget proposal included ten percent cuts. In the end, a mechanism was found to ease the K-12 education cut to about eight percent.


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