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Lots of Open Teaching Positions in South Dakota; Dare We Ask Kristi to Help?

All those people Kristi Noem says she’s getting to move to South Dakota must be either lazy or not terribly fond of education. South Dakota’s K-12 schools have 527 vacancies right now:

Of the 527 March vacancies, the largest amount of openings is in the category of elementary teachers, with 83 statewide vacancies in March. Other areas with high vacancy rates are special education/early childhood (69) and art/music/health/physical education (61).

Positions with the lowest amounts of vacancies are school psychologists (8), speech therapists/pathologists (10) and technology/drivers education/library specialists (14) [Jacob Newton, “527 Educator Vacancies in S.D. per March Report,” KELO-TV, 2022.04.01].

I don’t see numbers comparing these vacancies to previous Marches. But  all those educational positions open right now, plus the openings announced and impending for next school year, may extend the pandemic spike in open teacher positions that our schools saw last year:

Associated School Boards of South Dakota, "Why an Increase in State Aid Above Inflation Is Needed," January 2022.
Associated School Boards of South Dakota, “Why an Increase in State Aid Above Inflation Is Needed,” January 2022.

Maybe Governor Noem needs to shift from recruiting cops to recruiting teachers… although given her evident desire to dismantle and fascist-ify our classrooms, I’m not sure we want the kind of teachers who would come at the Snow Queen’s beck and call.


  1. mike from iowa 2022-04-03 09:25

    Magat dumbed down, school teacher qualifications are summed up in one short sentence. Teachers must have a drumpfian R behind their names.

    Don’t know much about history
    Don’t know much biology
    Don’t know much about a science book
    Don’t know much about the French I took
    (from ‘What a wonderful world this would be’)

    Doubt Sam Cooke would have approved of drumpfians of any stripe.

  2. grudznick 2022-04-03 09:42

    What we need are a few good teachers on the higher end of the SILT scale. Not snowflakes from liberal states. This morning at the Conservatives with Common Sense breakfasting we will have a very, very good teacher (retired) from Idaho who will school us on such things.

  3. leslie 2022-04-03 10:38

    So grdz wishes to further condition employment of few educated, qualified, certified, contracted teacher positions, as yet unfilled, with a right wing political philosophy? The schools already fill temp/substitutes with unqualified, bottom dollar adult bodies.

    Stupid knee jerk as always.

  4. Anne 2022-04-03 11:40

    Grudznick and his kind are the reason people with brains shun South Dakota.

  5. Jenny 2022-04-03 12:33

    At least those liberal states pay a living wage for its teachers, Cruddy Gruddy. Yet another embarassment for South Dakota in having that many open teaching positions in the supposed land of the free. I feel for people that have to live in rotten racist corrupted South Dakota.
    Leave as soon as you can once you graduate, young South Dakotans. There is a much better life elsewhere with good paying jobs, open-mindedness, and respect of people from all cultures. You won’t regret it.

  6. O 2022-04-03 13:33

    For all the fear mongering from the right “protecting” schools from becoming political indoctrination centers for the left, the reality is the right politicizing education and devaluing education is causing fewer and fewer people to want to stay in or get into education. Nobody wants to be around when the levee finally breaks.

  7. Donald Pay 2022-04-03 15:34

    O is correct. Your far below average ignoramuses with their PhDs in extremist politics want to tell everyone how to live and what to think. Add to that you have an elite that is out for themselves, and everyone else be damned. You end up with low pay for putting up with the ignoramuses. Who really wants to do that for long when you can cross the state border and make more money with fewer ignoramuses? But I suspect it’s also that teachers are front-line workers in the Age of Covid, and state government isn’t doing it’s part to keep workers safe. Teaching shouldn’t be a death sentence.

  8. mike from iowa 2022-04-03 17:15

    Public schools have been under magat attack for over 50 years. Always wanting to defund schools, re-segregate them, get religion in them in 10 foot high letters so as not to doubt whose god they were aiming to force upon public school students.

    How did so many magats claim they pledged allegiance to the flag of America, become right wing anti-America insurrectionists? Apparently forcing the pledge on kids doesn’t make them remember it when they go rogue as adult magats.

  9. Mark Anderson 2022-04-03 18:28

    Grudz, a poem for your Idaho teacher:
    Cowboys from Boise is noisy
    Conservatives commonly eat breakfast fast, passes on the gas
    End your pain, get back to Coeur d’Alene, do it by Monday so you elect Bundy.

  10. Arlo Blundt 2022-04-03 18:38

    In many school districts, a teaching job is thankless, self abusive, rotten for your morale, and an invitation to live like a refugee. For many, the children provide enough positive reinforcement to live through the school year and then move on to other opportunities, in teaching or otherwise. In many districts, it’s a revolving door. There are but a few districts whose board of education and citizens at large respect education and the institution of their public schools enough that they strive to protect and preserve a quality education. It is not enough for the center to hold. Bang. Whimper.

  11. grudznick 2022-04-03 19:33

    Clearly, this is the Goat Getting Blogging of the day. Thank you all.

  12. leslie 2022-04-03 20:48

    Whoops! Your Idaho teacher never showed up to teach your fictitious coffee klatch anything, you forgot to mention. And your Trumpist snow flake moniker betrays your lazy, oft-reputed allegiance to that corrupt coward you elected. Pure hatred for diversity and intelligence. That’s grdz, every time. Head in the oven, bub!

  13. O 2022-04-03 21:05

    mike accurately describes a school system wherein the parents have abdicated the raising of their children — then want to dictate how their children are raised in schools irrespective of what good school should be doing to effectively fulfill their mission of public education.

  14. V 2022-04-04 06:43

    Grudz, I take what you said personally. I was born and raised in S.D. but could not afford to go to college here. When I moved to California, I was enrolled for 14 of the 15 years I lived there as I had to wait one year for residency. I became very smart thanks to my tax money investing in education and where it is highly respected. When I moved back in the 90’s it took until 2005 for me to receive the same pay I started at in California in 1988. I retired in S.D. in the $30,000 range and spent more on education here to keep my certificate than 14 years I thrived in the liberal state of euphoria. My brother in law and I started teaching and retired with the same amount of years, however in California his last year paid in the $90,000s and he was given a huge bonus on his way out.


    Brain Drain has always been a problem in S.D. but obviously mine drained when I moved back here. I heard on SDPB that a college committee will be studying the impact of Brain Drain for over the next 10 years in areas of upcoming retirements. We don’t need some old male white supremist moving from Idaho where they have the highest number of gun owners. We need our youth to stay in S.D., both male and female.

    Republicans just don’t get it.

  15. V 2022-04-04 07:04

    Many rural schools are revolving doors, so they hire Teachers for America in way too high of numbers. Some schools give them 2-year contracts and then they are gone. Signing bonuses are offered and in some cases, you get 1/2 at the end of the first semester as incentive to stay until the end of the year when they receive the rest. And off they go……AND NO RETENTION BONUSES.

    At the same time, the school board members are not highly qualified at much, unless you consider embezzlement something to be proud of. But then the same holds true now of city council members and county commissioners. Very few have higher than a high school education. That’s Brain Drain at the local level.

  16. Mark Anderson 2022-04-04 20:07

    V, I know what you mean. I graduated and had my graduation show with a person from out of state at USD. We both ended up teaching at the Ringling College of Art. He took a big pay cut to take a job teaching at USD because he liked Vermillion. I stayed at Ringling even though the job at USD opened up. I couldn’t afford to go back to Vermintown, even if I wanted to. It’s sad, but it’s reality.

  17. V 2022-04-05 06:27

    I love the Yankton area, a more liberal culture where not all vehicles are 4x4s with guard rails attached to the front. However, Mark, you made the right move.

    Mike from Iowa, that is a very powerful article. It’s also very true. Always had to work during the summer because we were on 10-month contracts with no pay for 2 months. Many teachers here already have 2 jobs with their families being the other yet many also live on farms and ranches. That’s a 3rd job and then on weekends they charge the till at the local Cenex or grocery store. Ask them about vacation, especially if they have dairy cows.

    Imagine what it took for them to attend college while juggling all this? Does Noem appreciate that? Probably not, her degree was not earned like the rest of us.

  18. V 2022-04-07 09:58

    A must read! ran this article this morning about Noem’s educational agenda.

    Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) just signed an executive order banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory in South Dakota public schools. Upon signing, Noem said: “Political indoctrination has no place in our classrooms.”

    Since CRT isn’t taught in South Dakota public schools, except maybe in a couple of courses in the University of South Dakota Law School as a framework for understanding race in America, and isn’t indoctrination in any conceivable sense, what is Noem up to? After all, this was an executive order that she dreamed up, not some bill the state legislature dumped on her desk and forced her to sign or veto.

    Maybe this is about her 2022 reelection campaign, but we doubt it. She is a popular conservative incumbent in a conservative state and there is no reason to think she is in much danger even though she has a Republican primary challenger, Steve Haugaard, who is trying to out-Trump her, which won’t be easy. To us, this XO suggests two things. First, she is playing to a bigger audience than South Dakotans, namely national Republicans. She probably (and correctly) senses that there is a good chance the Republicans will want a woman on the ticket in 2024, especially if the Democrats have one again, and she wants to demonstrate her right-wing bona fides. Actions like hers get lots of attention, and she doesn’t want a potential Trump/Noem or DeSantis/Noem ticket to be greeted with “Kristi Who?”, analogous to the “Sarah who?” reaction when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008.

    Second, it is already clear that if the Republicans have a platform in 2024, education is going to play a big role in it. They will have points like:

    Ban the teaching of CRT.
    Prohibit anyone who has now, or has ever had, a tallywhacker from competing in girls’ sports.
    Make sure no (white) child is made to feel guilty about any part of American history.
    Books that might make children feel uncomfortable should be banned from the classroom and library.
    Teaching the Bible as a key part of Western civilization is fine.
    Present creationism as an equally valid alternative theory to evolution.
    Parents should control the school curriculum.
    Promote school choice and home schooling.
    Children should be given vouchers to fund public, private, charter, or religious schools.
    Voluntary school prayer (with students allowed to opt out) should be encouraged.
    National standards, like Common Core, should be banned.

    Of course, Noem isn’t dishing all of this up right now. There is plenty of time in the coming years for the rest. She is just planting a stake to make it clear that education is on her agenda and as the mother of three, she can be trusted to defend the conservative view of education in a national campaign. (V)

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