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Qualm Proposed Direct Tax Support for Religious Schools

Did you know Majority Leader Lee Qualm (R-21/Platte) proposed giving more tax dollars to private schools?

Representative Qualm’s House Bill 1227 would have directed the Secretary of Revenue to compute and county treasurers to pay out portions of the electric energy tax paid by each utility company to nonpublic schools in each school district each utility serves.

HB 1227 never got a hearing; Rep. Qualm wisely withdrew it on February 8.

It’s bad enough that Rep. Qualm voted in 2016 to launder insurance tax dollars into stealth vouchers for religious schools. That it would even cross Qualm’s mind to send tax dollars directly to South Dakota’s religious schools shows a grave disrespect for the proper separation of church and state.

Keep an eye on Qualm and make sure he doesn’t try bringing this unwise private-school subsidy back in 2020.


  1. mike from iowa 2019-03-26 19:46

    Missouri wingnuts approved teaching the bible in public schools.

  2. Laurisa 2019-03-26 20:19

    I remember when Qualm was my rep back when we lived in Wagner several years ago. Hubby and I attended a cracker barrel with him and our other reps. Our neighbor was a teacher and she also attended, along with several of her colleagues. Education funding was one of the hot issues that year, and the attending teachers made impassioned yet civil, thoughtful and well-reasoned arguments for increased legislative funding and support for public education.

    Qualm, however, was patronizing, condescending, dismissive, contemptuous, peremptory. He acted as if HE were the experienced educator and they knew nothing, though he’d never spent one day in front of a classroom. Now, I was a regular sub at the schools and I knew first-hand just how dedicated, competent and professional these educators were and that their push for increased funding wasn’t for the purpose of personal enrichment and self-aggrandizement. Plus, as the daughter of teachers, I knew full well what their profession dealt with every day, how hard they worked in their supposedly “off” hours, and how little respect and appreciation they actually received.

    But none of that mattered to Qualm. But what DID matter to him in education? His “school sentinel” bill which authorized funding and support for armed guards at schools. Guards and guns in school, that’s what was the most important thing to him in education and he couldn’t have cared less about anything else. And I see he’s still the same kind of idiot now.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-27 06:52

    Good narrative, Laurisa—our arrogant legislators think they know a lot more than they really do about how things outside their expertise. They don’t want to listen to real knowledge… and they don’t want a public education system that equips all citizens with the knowledge and critical thinking skills that allow them to see through GOP BS.

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