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Hunhoff: State Treading Water on Education Funding

Senator Bernie Hunhoff still sees progress being made toward expanding Medicaid, but he says the biggest disappointment of the 2015 Legislative Session is his colleagues’ continued failure to support education:

On budget percentages: the FY2016 general fund amount authorized in HB 1208 is 2.95% higher than the amount last year’s Legislature authorized for the FY2015 budget. State aid to general education is going up 2.11%* from last year’s appropriation. South Dakota Public Broadcasting gets zero increase.

Even in an area where the state is making progress, finally joining every other state in offering a needs-based scholarship for high education, Senator Hunhoff says the Legislature’s support is still too tenuous:

Senator Hunhoff needs all Democrats to join him in explaining to the public the state’s failure to adequately fund education.

*Update 17:00 CDT: Spreadsheet error! I have corrected the percentage figures given above. I’m looking further into the budget to find the comparison that would explain the discrepancy between the percentages I list here and those cited by Senator Hunhoff in his remarks on video.


  1. Lynn 2015-03-17

    I really wish Senator Hunhoff was our Governor. He’s plain spoken and feel we are lucky to have him and other Democrats serving and I stress serving in our legislature. It’s vital we increase our numbers and further empower these good public servants like Senator Hunhoff.

  2. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-17

    Unfortunately South Dakota is headed down the same slippery slope as the great state of Kansas. The Koch brothers started their overhaul in that state a couple years ago and now their in the red by $600,000,000.

    “The plan would scrap the current school funding formula, instead giving districts “block grants” based on their current aid for the next two school years, until lawmakers draft a new formula. The governor and other Republicans say the current formula is too complex and directs too much away from classroom learning.”

    “Many educators dislike the block grant plan because the state’s 286 school districts would lose $51 million in state aid they expected to receive for the current school year. However, the plan has been lauded by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business group, and organizations advocating for conservative economic policies.”

    $51 million is a pretty good hunk of change to be cut from the ed department, and SD will be next.

    The Blindman

  3. larry kurtz 2015-03-17

    A friend flying to Houston from Quito engaged a teacher who had also just visited the Galapagos: in Texas they teach adaptation, not evolution.

  4. larry kurtz 2015-03-17

    Creationism, virgin birth, Agenda 21, denial of the Anthropocene, anti-vaxxers:

    She described climate change and evolution as “fringe ideas” but suggested there could be ways to hold classroom discussions about them without the school system advocating for or against them.

    You poor bastards.

    South Dakota: Land of Infinite Vacuity.

  5. leslie 2015-03-17

    bill-eb5 could make up $600,000,000 in, oh i don’t know, not very long. now where are those state records of EB5 out of the goverors’ office of econ dev.?? Maybe Jack Warner can tell us before he leaves the Regents. His lawyers there, at NSU, ect. could prolly call jackley and give us an idea. they all rode herd on joop. Sveen prolly knows, oh but that was privatized, no-bid contract…doh.

  6. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-17

    Oh Larry, that’s just pathetic. I mean Texas education. Unless the goal is to grow generations of Koch voters. Then it’s brilliant! Though diseducation is part of what has made us an oligarchy. I don’t feel optimistic for the US of A when I read those things.

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