On October 11, I reported that Rep Isaac Latterell (R-6/Tea?) was deceptively advertising his credentials as a supporter of education, even though he vigorously resisted the Governor’s barely successful sales-tax increase to fund teacher pay increases.
Dana Ferguson picks up on that story and adds Rep. Latterell’s now-married former flame Senator Jenna Haggar Netherton (R-10/Sioux Falls?) and Rep. Arch Beal (R-12/Sioux Falls), saying all three “have sent out mailers saying they supported increased funding for teachers’ salaries“:
All three voted against House Bill 1182, which established a half-cent sales tax to boost teacher pay in the state. They voted in support of a related bill that outlined how public school funding should be distributed, as well as a third bill that created incentives for schools to share services [Dana Ferguson, “Incumbents Accused of Misrepresenting Teacher Pay Votes,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.11.01].
Hey, Isaac, Jenna, Arch—if you wanted SDEA’s endorsement, you should have helped pass the Governor’s plan, the actual plan, the only plan that stood a chance of passing this year. Isaac’s seatmate Rep. Herman Otten got with the program and supported HB 1182; so did Arch’s Senate counterpart R. Blake Curd; SDEA has endorsed both of those Republicans for their honest support of the sales tax increase that made the teacher pay raises possible.
Rep. Latterell ignores that reality:
“To paint 1182 as a teacher salary increase bill is misleading because it didn’t accomplish that,” Latterell said Tuesday [Ferguson, 2016.11.01].
What rubbish! HB 1182 made the salary increase happen. Teachers packed the gallery for debate on that bill. Arm-twisting and shouting matches broke out over that bill. Reps. Schoenbeck and Mickelson wrote the mandates and accountability for using the new sales tax dollars for teacher pay into that bill (read the bill text, Sections 17 and 20–22).
HB 1182 was the teacher pay increase. Latterell, Haggar, and Beal voted against the teacher pay increase. Their Democratic opponents—Clara Hart and Kyle Rogers in District 6, Jim Powers in District 10, and Susan Randall and Bob Benson in District 12—are right to beat them soundly round the pate over that vote against raising teacher pay.
Representative Wiik is touting the same. From his Facebook page:
“If anyone tries to tell you I don’t support public education, I can only answer with this. Only one candidate in this race has children in public school. Last year, I made a tough decision. I voted to increase teacher pay…” (Facebook, November 2; John Wiik for Senate-SD District 4)
Wiik votes against teacher pay increases, but says he voted to increase teacher pay. Pay no attention to how he voted.
Besides his attempt to mislead, he says it was a tough decision to increase teacher pay. How is it a tough decision to vote to increase teacher pay when SD was 51st in teacher pay? Not only were we last, but we were last by a couple thousand dollars.
Profiles in courage: voting to increase teacher pay from 51st in the nation.
If Latterell, Haggar and Beal supported higher teacher pay in SD, then why did they allow SD to be last in teacher pay for the last decade?