A free public motivational conference hosted recently by state government received 434 registrations and cost the state $40,480, according to a spokeswoman for Gov. Kristi Noem.
Other conference expenses included the facility rental, music and entertainment, travel costs for guests, food and signage [Seth Tupper, “State Spends $41K on Free Conference, Attracts 434 Registrants,” Rapid City Journal, 2019.12.26].
$17,750, for three motivational speeches in one day? Wow—Clint Pulver has the right job. (Pay good wages, and people will fly here from Utah to work—there’s a lesson for you, Kristi….) If Pulver stayed for a three-day gig, he’d make over $50K, more than the average South Dakota teacher makes for making motivational speeches 180 days a year.
Pulver must have given us a break: $40,480 is lower than the $45K the Governor’s office first told Tupper this affair would cost. Tupper’s tally does not include the money area schools spent to bus kids to the event and hire subs to cover for missing teachers who were in Sioux Falls chaperoning and trying to figure out just what the heck the conference was about.