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Broadcaster Press 3 December 4, 2018 www.broadcasteronline.com Making Progress On Teacher Pay It’s a Beautiful Day By Daris Howard My old friend, Bill, walked into church, and I smiled. It was good to see him. Bill is in his eighties and is one of the By Gov. Dennis Daugaard South Dakotans, the announcement and I respected the fact that some most positive people I know. As I enter my final weeks as in my State of the State Address was would not be able to support a tax I went over and shook his hand. “Today is a great day, governor, many people are asking a surprise. A surprise can make for increase. I believed, however, that huh, Bill?” good drama, but it isn’t always the the state had reached a point of no He shook my hand heartily. “Yes, today is a beautiful me to reflect on my time in office. I’m not a person who worries much recipe for success. return – this was a problem we had day.” Following my reelection in 2014, I to solve. I’m sure those standing around us wondered about our about a “legacy.” I just hope that I decided to try again. I was hearing The Blue Ribbon package of bills unusual conversation, especially since it was freezing cold have left things a little better than I from educators that the shortage passed the legislature with bipartiwith a biting wind. But the reason for our strange conversa- found them. It is hard, though, not of teachers was reaching a critical san, two-thirds majority support, and tion went back to a previous one that I had had with Bill a to reminisce about the events of the last eight years. One memory of point. South Dakota had been last in I signed them into law. Significant few years earlier. I was having some challenges in my life. I had been given which I’m very proud is the progress the nation in teacher pay for decades salary increases first took effect – since the mid-1980s – and we were for the 2016-17 school year, and we some new assignments at work that were taking a lot of time. we made on teacher pay. It certainly didn’t look like this falling further behind. As the Baby made great progress. In one year, I was also the editor of the university research magazine, Boomer generation retired, many salaries had increased by an averand some people were quite vocal about their displeasure would be possible when I came into vacancies were failing to attract a age of 8.8 percent. The Blue Ribbon with me and the articles I chose to include in the publica- office in 2011. At that time, South qualified applicant. legislation had set a target average tion. As a family, we had also had some financial setbacks Dakota was still feeling the effects of the Great Recession. For two In 2015, I convened the Blue Ribsalary of $48,500, and in one year we that were weighing on my mind. bon Task Force on Teachers and Stuhad moved more than halfway toOn that particular day, I had walked into church and had years, federal stimulus funds had dents. My charge to the task force ward that goal. Some small districts run into Bill. He shook my hand vigorously and said, “Isn’t delayed the need for budget cuts. As I took office, though, those funds was to seek public input, analyze the enjoyed the largest increases – Wall, it a beautiful day?” had reached their end, and my first data, define conditions, and offer Gayville-Volin and Mobridge-Pollock “You think so?” I said, feeling somewhat doubtful. solutions. Nothing should be taken all increased salaries by more than The day was overcast, a sleety rain was falling, and it budget proposal included ten percent cuts. In the end, a mechanism off the table. The task force included 20 percent, and Leola increased was miserably cold. nearly 30 percent. “Yes,” Bill replied, “it’s a wonderful day. And do you was found to ease the K-12 education legislators, state officials, educators, cut to about eight percent. and taxpayers. Task force members It has been three years since the know how I can tell if it’s a wonderful day?” Despite funding challenges, I knew received input from thousands of Blue Ribbon Task Force met, and this “How?” I asked, his enthusiasm beginning to rub off on that our state needed to do more to South Dakotans, and delved into the summer a review board met to conme. issue at several public meetings. sider our progress. They found that, “I get up each morning,” Bills said, “and I read the news- attract and retain good classroom In the end, the task force issued for the first time in more than 30 paper immediately. And the first thing I read is the obituar- teachers. In 2012, I announced the “Investing in Teachers” initiative, a report that called for several years, South Dakota is not last in the ies. And do you know why I read the obituaries first?” which became known as “House changes to the school funding fornation in average teacher salaries. “Why?” I asked. mula. The changes made the formula They also heard from superinten“Because if my name isn’t there, I know it’s going to be Bill 1234.” This proposal included merit-based bonuses for top teachmore favorable to small school disdents that, although some positions a great day.” tricts and more equitable across all are still hard to fill, we are seeing Bill laughed and laughed at that. I laughed, too, and my ers, along with pay incentives for districts. It also protected property more qualified applicants and fewer problems seemed to disperse. But around a month ago, I teachers in high-need fields like taxpayers from runaway increases in positions remain vacant. found out Bill had had an accident. He had been using his mathematics and science. The plan capital outlay tax levies. We still have work to do – edutractor to split firewood. It was a cold day, so he was in his proved to be controversial. Some The report also called for a sizacation funding should always be shop with the door closed. He began to realize that the air educators were concerned about ble funding increase for K-12 schools, a major topic of debate – but I am was getting choked with exhaust, and he needed some fresh how they would be evaluated, They to be targeted at teacher salaries. proud of the progress we have made. air. He walked to the switch to open the garage door, but didn’t want to pit teachers against Based on that report, I decided to We need good teachers to prepare just before he reached it, he passed out face down in the each other. They also felt that it wasn’t well-funded enough to have propose a half-cent increase in the our young people for the future, and dirt. state sales tax to fund the proposal. we’ve sent a message that we value Luckily, when Bill didn’t come into the house for din- an impact. In the end, the plan narI knew this would be controversial, the important work that they do. ner as expected, his sweet wife went looking for him. She rowly passed the State Legislature, got her son to help, and when they found him, they quickly but was referred to the opened the door and called 911. Miraculously the first vol- general election ballot and unteer emergency responders had oxygen. When I learned defeated. for Health I learned a valuable leswhat had happened, I went to visit Bill. He was home from 216 West Main Street • Vermillion, SD the hospital but was still struggling to breathe, even with son from House Bill 1234. PRECISION PAINTING Although my intentions oxygen. •Interior •Exterior Give the gift of health He was asleep when I came. I hated to wake him, but his were good, I didn’t do •Commercial this holiday season. wife said Bill would be disappointed if he missed getting to enough to reach out and •Residential The Vermillion Area Arts Council Stop in for your Gift Certificates today! build support. To most visit with me, so she gently patted him. Quality Workmanship, invites you to the Bill slowly opened his Reasonable Rates Open Monday thru Friday eyes, and when he saw me, CLINT TUCKER Lois Hazen, LMT For appointments, call 624-6732 he smiled. 624-4621 Since “It’s still a great day, www.loismassages.com 1983 Bill,” I said. “But just barely. It came close to not being a The Vermillion Area Arts Council Invites You To The... good one for you.” He smiled weakly, “A lit- Thursday,of Art, Craft, Music, Dance, Food,Sunday, December 9 A mix December 6 – Santa, Make A Gift and FUN! tle too close.” Sunday, December 10202 Washington St., Vermillion, SD Washington Street Arts Center, - Saturday, December 16 He wasn’t out of the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily The auction benefits the Vermillion Area Farmers Market. 3:00–7:00 pm South woods yet at that point. Thursday, December 6 ALL SCHEDULED TIMES ARE TENTATIVEDakota Artisan’s Sale 3:30–5:30 pm Make A Gift But over time, he gradually Washington Street ArtsSweater Contest – Prizes Gourmet hors d'oeuvres, live music entertainment, drawings and silent 5:30 pm Ugly Center located 3:00–7:00 Street South South Dakota started to get better. That Friday, December 7 at 202 Washigntonpm | Vermillion,Dakota Artisan’s Sale auction. Find one-of-a-kind gifts, enjoy local talent, beverages and foods. 3:30 –5:30 pm Make A Gift was the reason I was so 2 - 6 pm Art & Craft Sales plus Lumostudios Yarn Sale 6:00 pm Choir SUN 2:30 - 4:30 pm Make a Gift - your choice of $5 or $10 orVermillion Children’sadults andConcert $15 age related projects for happy to see him when he 12/10 4 - 6December 8 - On site with gifts for kids South Dakota Artisan’s Sale children* Saturday, pm 3:00–7:00 pm Santa 5 - 6 pm Ugly Sweater Contest – Prize for best homemade & best commercial 3:30 –4:30 pm Make A Gift walked into church. Friday, December 7th 3:30 pm Surprise Concert! Some of his positive at- MON 2 - 6 pm Art & Craft6:00 plus Lumostudios Yarn Sale Sales pm Dance Performance a Gift - your choice of $5 $15 age related for adults children* 6pm - 8pm titude has taken hold of 12/11 2:30 - 4:30 pm MakeVermillion Author’s Books,or $10 orHolidayDemoprojects ContestandPrizes 6:30 pm Plus and Basket Making Bake Off Sunday, December 9 11:00 am–3:00 pm South Dakota Artisan’s Sale me, especially as his comValiant Vineyards Winery - 6 pm Art & TUE ment has lingered with me 12/12 2Santa will beCraft Sales plus Lumostudios Yarn Saleage3:00 to 5:00adults and children* 2:30 - 4:30 pm Make a on- site Saturday from related projects for pm Gift your choice of $5 or $10 or $15 1500 W. Main St., Vermillion 5 - 6 pm Christmas Carols - Vermillion Children Choir and has given me a different perspective about life. Each WED 2 - 6 pm Art & Craft Sales plus Lumostudios Yarn Sale 4:30 Make Gift - your choice of $5 or $10 or $15 day when I get up, I say to 12/13 2:30 -pm pmClay aCounty Historicalage related projects for adults and children* 5-6 Santa Story Time Society Vermillion Area myself, “It’s a beautiful day,” www.vermillionfarmersmarket.org Making and I don’t even have to read THUR 2 - 6 -pm pm Arts &aCraft Weaving and Basketor $10 orDemo related projects for adults and children* 2:30 4:30 Make Gift - your choice of $5 $15 age Farmers Market vafarmersmarket@gmail.com 12/14 5 - 6 pm Dance Group the obituaries to know it. Massage Holiday Artisan Fair Holiday Arts & Crafts Celebration Silent Night Silent Auction Annual Christmas Tour of Homes 605-857-3213 FRI 12/15 2 - 6 pm 2:30 - 4:30 pm Art & Craft Sales plus Lumostudios Yarn Sale Make a Gift - your choice of $5 or $10 or $15 age related projects for adults and children* SAT 12/16 2 - 3 pm 2 - 6 pm 2:30 - 4:30 pm 4 - 5 pm A Ukulele Christmas - concert Art & Craft Sales plus Lumostudios Yarn Sale Make a Gift - your choice of $5 or $10 or $15 age related projects for adults and children* Great Vermillion Pastry Contest - Show off your baking skills Prizes = Best Tasting, Best Presentation, Most Original, Best Traditional Great Vermillion Pastry Auction 5 - 6 pm Fri., December 7, 2018 • 4:30-7:30 p.m. * CHILDREN MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT VAAC Board of Directors | vermillionareaartscouncil.com | vermillionareaartscouncil@gmail.com Tickets $20 – Available at the Austin-Whittemore House, Davis Pharmacy and from Lisa Johnson at the Spa at Wynie Maes in Vermillion Buying, Selling or Renting connect with area landlords, renters, home buyers and home sellers with the Broadcaster classifieds! 201 W Cherry Vermillion 624-4429 On the tour this year Craig and Marsha Thompson – 1416 Rockwell Trail Brandon and Ericka Schapekahm – 215 Court Street Arnold and Janis Rokusek – 514 Burbank Road Art and Lana Rusch – 925 Ridgecrest Drive Cleland and Pat Cook – 2711 East Main Street Reception at the Austin-Whittemore House 15 Austin Street starting at 5:00 p.m. Contact the Clay County Historical Society at 605-624-8266 if you have questions SAVE THE DATE: December 15th - 10am to 1pm Sweets and Treats at the Austin-Whittemore House 2018 VERMILLION HOLIDAY STROLL THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 • 5 P.M. - 8 P.M. Stop by these local businesses for treats, beverages, and sweet DEALS on your holiday shopping must-haves! Vermillion Parks and Recreation Open Gym For Beginners to Advanced Players USD WELLNESS CENTER – MAC COURT DECEMBER 9TH, 16TH AND 23RD 11 AM–2 PM Vermilion Parks and Recreation will supply the nets, rackets and pickleballs Free For Wellness Center Members $5 A Day For Non-members Any questions contact tylert@cityofvermillion.com The Vermillion Parent Teacher Organization will be gift wrapping in the lobby of McVicker Plaza for a freewill donation. #SHOPLOCAL #LOVERMILLION • Blue Monarch • Charlie’s • Coyote Twin Theater • Davis Pharmacy • Hartford Steak Co. Tavern • Sharing the Dream • The Bean • The Iron Rooster • The Spa at Wynie Mae’s • THiNK Thread & Ink • Valiant Vineyards • Varsity Pub • Vermillion Area Chamber & Development Company • Vermillion Vision Clinic • Willson Florist
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