I agree with Superintendent Mitchell that the Rapid City Area School’s proposed five-year, $6-million-per-year opt-out is necessary for maintaining Rapid City School programs. Three arch conservative groups do not:
Less than a week after the Rapid City Area Schools board decides to opt out, three groups vow to put the issue to a public vote; and then defeat it.
The groups announced their intentions in a release Sunday night; saying they’ve already gathered more than 400 signatures in their effort to put the opt out to a vote during the June 2 municipal/school election.
…The groups opposed to this plan are: South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, South Dakota Campaign for Liberty and Citizens for Academic Transparency.
Citizens for Liberty is the standing Tea Party group in Rapid City. I hear Campaign for Liberty is a project of Fred “Rip” Ryness, who didn’t think incumbents Jackie Sly and Scott Craig were conservative enough for District 33 and waged an unsuccessful primary challenge against them in 2014. As for Citizens for Academic Transparency, I have yet to see their credentials (although they score points for good acronym choice!).
Remarkably, all three groups have something in common with my fellow petitioners on Senate Bill 69, the petition reform bill. We agree that our voices are not being heard in Pierre. If we want lasting change, we must protect ballot access so we can elect candidates of our ilks. Citizens for Liberty and I would elect very different candidates who would take very different positions on funding for public education. We may not all want the Rapid City opt-out to fail, but we all want our candidates to have a better chance of advancing our agendae in Pierre after the referenda are done.
So I’m curious, Citizens for Liberty, Campaign for Liberty, and Citizens for Academic Transparency: when you get done challenging Rapid City’s opt-out, can you help us challenge the rules the Pierre Establishment is using to keep your allies off the ballot and out of elected office?