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Larson: Raise SD Teacher Pay to 39th, Cut Wasteful State Gov’t Programs

Yesterday I proposed a grand bargain to give Governor Daugaard a one-year suspension of continuing contract in return for raising the average South Dakota teacher salary to 13th in the nation, $60,000. My proposal would cost $184 million.

Teacher Michael Larson offers a humbler proposal: raise South Dakota teacher pay to 39th in the nation, $48,000. But he gets gritty and tells us where to start looking for the $73 million his plan would take: cut state government! Larson identifies the following tasty cuts:

  • Department of Tourism: $1.94 million.
  • Governor’s Office of Economic Development: $2.94 million.
  • Bureau of Finance and Management: $4 million.
  • Bureau of Administration: $3 million.
  • Legislature: $644,000.
  • Department of Agriculture: $600,000.

Larson hacks away some pretty big chunks of fat from Pierre. But he identifies just $13.1 million, 18% of what his plan will require and 7% of my plan’s budget. Larson’s respectable effort demonstrates a hard truth about the K-12 funding challenge. We all lick our chops at the prospect of getting the money we want by inflicting pain on some unworthy bureaucrat or burr-under-our-saddle government office. But meaningful funding for even a humble K-12 funding proposal like Larson’s will not come from cuts any more than I’m going to pay my mortgage by skipping breakfast.


  1. leslie 2015-06-15

    VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING discussion points. rounds ran on platform of dissolving fed depts, agencies like EPA, ect. if we did the same at state level, proposing these cuts, adding NSU, Regents, political aspects of non-functional AGs office, DOT, DENR, eliminating SDSM&T’s president for say, a board of professors, and just generally changing the way power is administered, DUMPING ALL CRONIED POSITIONS, cutting their pensions, unionizing, dumping work comp and unemployment anti-worker theory, eliminating fat privatized contracts with advertisers, lawyers, engineers, CPAs; and brought in scientists, philosophers, therapists, and contractors whose eye is on welfare of the have-nots, the dems might get some recognition. in the state.


  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-15

    Speaking of cronyism, Lawrence & Schiller alone gets over $6 million to advertise various state programs and tell out-of-staters that we aren’t Mars. That $6 million could go straight to education and make South Dakota a better place for everyone.

  3. leslie 2015-06-15

    we should consult sibby not websters on variations of the his word-crony. cronies, cronyisms ect :)

    flemming-in the big scheme, do u think the people benefit from this kind of ad work? not just the joops of the world??

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