Is it really about the children?–gk&feature=player_embedded

The vote NO people on ‘16’ and the Vote Yes people on M15 want you to know that their measures are ‘about the kids.’

I get tired of the bogus TV commercials that try to pull at our heart strings by telling us this is about our children.

‘16’ is about a poorly executed teacher bonus program by our governor and legislature. There have been studies across the nation on both sides that have proven that there isn’t enough evidence either way if these bonuses work (they work in some parts of the nation). But it doesn’t stop people on both sides of the issue claiming this program will either help or hurt our children. Whether it gets implemented or not, the only real beneficiary will be teachers, how this may ‘trickle down’ to the school kids of our state is still a mystery (those studies are all over the map to).

AND, let’s look at M15. The TV commercial has kids dancing in the streets because public education will finally be funded properly (at least for a few years until the legislature messes with it – remember the video lottery funding education proposal?) Of course M15 proponents don’t mention hospitals taking up to $85 million of that penny, or that they are the ones mostly funding marketing the benefits of M15.

Not sure what upsets me more. The blatant dishonesty of these campaigns or that they are propping up kids in their campaigns to manipulate public opinion? Either way, it’s kinda disgusting.

While most people are struggling to get by, raising a regressive tax on food and other needs won’t benefit our children ONE DAMN BIT. In fact, it may be more detrimental then anything. Dr. Homan, SF School District’s Super said a few years back that when there is inclement weather, she doesn’t like to have a late start because if they have a late start some of kids in the district may not get breakfast (because they are not getting it at home). While the Avera’s and Sanford’s of the world are worried they are not getting ‘fully’ reimbursed for Medicaid (while dropping millions on advertising each year) there are kids in this state that have to go to school, or they go hungry.

Maybe instead of using children as a prop to raise our taxes, we should actually help the children of our state and properly fund education through the general fund and stop raising our taxes so corporations can get bailouts and refunds.



#1 caheidelberger on 10.10.12 at 5:08 pm

Whoa, horse. I’ll stand by the argument that the RL 16 really is about kids. Let RL 16 become law, and you will hurt kids by lowering the quality of education. The bill would drive good teachers out of the profession. It would reduce creative approaches to teaching. It would drive teachers to teach more to tests. Yes, RL 16 would have plenty of impacts on teachers and administrators as well. But it is perfectly logical and truthful to say that voting for RL 16 is a vote to harm our schools and lower the quality of education our kids get.

#2 LJL on 10.10.12 at 7:58 pm

So lets use some facts. The US spends 3 times per student in education funding compared to any other country. The US is not the top in world wide test scores and in some subjects not even in the top ten. How about this, the state/DC decide what the parent ca do with our education taxes. If you wish to keep spending money on public schools for your children then so be it. But for the 13 years my children go to school then I should decide, in the form of a voucher. The rest of my tax paying years that I don’t have school age children, the state can keep my taxes and continue to roll it down the rat hill of Public ED. True ungovermetalized supply demand works (case in point Starbucks) but politics/teacher union regulated manipulation is not working for our kids.

I have brought this up before on this forum and each time the party line hyperbole is used to retort. Imagine this, your kid can play soccer as a school sport and if you don’t like, Go F*^k yourself because that is what the government and the school union has bargained for. Imagine the outrage.

#3 Jackilope on 10.10.12 at 9:43 pm

LJL – If we are comparing the US to other countries on test scores — let’s be clear that it is not a true comparison. In some countries, those scores you see are the tracked students — those in track to go onto college in contrast with ALL students in US. Consider also that in some Asian countries, the students attend regular Ed classes and then are paying and enrolled in supplementary education.

The school union doesn’t determine curriculum and extra curricular activities. It does negotiate and asks to sit at the table regarding working conditions — things like ensuring a teacher gets a planning period and isn’t stacked with an overload in terms of scheduling without fair compensation.

#4 Jackilope on 10.10.12 at 10:06 pm

Referred Law 16 — there are several reasons to vote this one down. One Legislator, Steele maybe? after it was voted in by a hair and some arm twisting in the Gov’s office commented to the Gov that he got his bill through — as badly written as it was. Many voting for it, did so by holding their nose and marching in lock step for the Gov.

The referred law pits teachers against teachers in terms of merit pay. Those good skills or techniques that get passed from teacher to teacher could be passed less if environment turns from cooperative to competitive chasing after a bonus. Who suffers there? Students. Research has already indicated merit pay in education doesn’t work.

One other pitfall? None of RL 16 is funded. Given that schools had to cut staff and programs across the state last year … None of the cut money has been replaced, but by golly, the state somehow had a surplus. Hmmmm, students certainly got hurt there. When a gifted educator is cut, when librarians are eliminated, when school counselors are cut — it is students that are hurt. So, instead of putting back that money cut — it is a distraction disguised as a “novel idea” to dangle a financial carrot for 20% of staff — oh, and only losing due process as a result.

The high stakes testing is another doozy. It will require more state oversight.

Let’s look at tying a Dentist’s salary on how many cavities his patients do not have. The Dentist must accept every patient, regardless of dietary or hygiene habits. If the Dentist provides necessary information, but has a percentage that don’t floss, guzzle cola like water, and opt to not follow recommended guidelines — is that a good approach?

SD has had a bargain regarding education for a long time. Demonizing educators — who work long hours and deal with a broad and diverse population and needs — it won’t bring about attracting bright people into the field.

#5 LJL on 10.10.12 at 11:09 pm

Listen to what your saying Jack….Other countries spend far less, send there kids to additional classes-even college in some cases and get better test scores. Your correct, teachers don’t decide curriculum, but when have you ever heard a teacher complain about what they are teaching…NEVER. Always the ruse of how much they have to work and for how much they get paid. When it comes to these proposed laws we are directly discussing teacher pay and the union. 83% of education funding goes toward admin and teacher pay.

I get it. You drInk the coolaid, you think your doing us a favor with this constant “not enough money” campaign. You will forever bitch about the job you chose. You have the right to buy the products you want but we don’t have the right to spend our money on the education we want for our children to have. I AM NOT TRYING TO CONVERT YOU. STOP TRYING TO SCREW ME.


Again. I will make the analogy for everyone but Jack. If the parents cared about their children’s education as they do sports, they would be pissed if soccer was the only option.

#6 l3wis on 10.10.12 at 11:10 pm

I agree, vote NO on 16. But this is not what this post is about. I’m tired of both sides of the aisle using kids as props. If either side really cared, we would be raising taxes to feed these kids. Instead we are raising taxes to supplement private industry.

The state has oodles of money for education and medicaid, it is a question of allocation, not tax increases. The powers of be need a swift kick in the balls and be told by the public that we want 1) lower taxes 2) education and healthcare properly funded and 3) no more no bid contracts, refunds or giveaways to private industry. This is about priorities, not increasing taxes. When are you people going to get simple math? You claim to work in education, but I am starting to wonder?

#7 Anthony D. Renli on 10.11.12 at 6:20 am

LJL – where are you getting your data?
The US spends less per student than Luxembourg, Switzerland and Norway and to get to your three times as much figure you need to go to such stellar educational strongholds as Poland and Slovakia.

That doesn’t say a darn thing about teacher pay. AND it certainly doesn’t say a darn thing about South Dakota.

That doesn’t say a darn thing about Teacher Pay. You say “IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE PAY OR CONDITIONS, DON’T DO THE JOB.” The problem is -why the hell would someone in South Dakota want to do the job? They can make more money in Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming, North Dakota or Montana. With better working conditions because their budgets haven’t been slashed quite as deeply. The Baby Boomer teachers are retiring. We have to start recruiting more qualified teachers. This is not the way to do it.

#8 caheidelberger on 10.11.12 at 8:27 am

I understand the resistance to using kids as props (see also, Noem’s exploitation of son Booker in her ads and public appearances). But pointing out the harm to kids RL16 will do is a perfectly justifiable and logical approach.

#9 scott on 10.11.12 at 10:26 am

So according to ljl, he only wants those willing to work for the lowest wage possible to teach his kids.

#10 Testor15 on 10.11.12 at 12:03 pm

BTW, in reference to Booker and now add Grandma to this. Notice how the ALEC GOP insist on lying in both of the Noem commercials. In the Booker commercial the child labor rules are being thrown out as nonsense. She uses her grandmother to lie about medicare funding. Just like her ALEC GOP friends she takes money from the drug companies who are upset they can’t rip off elderly on drug programs. She is also taking money from the big ag businesses pretending to be the family farmers of her grandmother’s time. She would rather see her grandmother ripped off and her son abused by big ag then standup for them.

#11 Hammerhead on 10.11.12 at 12:31 pm

Back in the early 80’s, the state sales tax rate want from 4 to 5% to buy the Burlington Northern line that goes across the northern part of SD. During the Mickelson admin it was increased to create a fund for business loans. Now, an increase will be used to fund education and medicare and you would think that the world is coming to an end.

#12 Detroit Lewis on 10.11.12 at 4:32 pm

Raising taxes on the least that can afford it during an economic downturn isn’t only stupid it is abuse.

#13 Detroit Lewis on 10.11.12 at 4:43 pm

The money is already there. I already pay two sets of taxes to fund education, sales and property. The state gives away millions to private corporations, they issue foolish no-bid contracts, they collect millions in VL (which was supposed to go to education) They have a gigantic investment fund that they could tap monthly in just interest, they had a $50 million dollar surplus last year. It is about budgeting correctly, not increasing taxes. What did the common Joe do when the economy took a shit? He cut back and prioritized so he had money to spend on the things that are important to him. Funding education is a key component of the state budget. It should be a priority, not bailouts to corporations. I also think we are missing the boat with wind energy. This state would be swimming in money if we tapped it. Instead everyone sits around and says ‘what about the kids’ Well guess what, tell the governor, tell the legislators that we want kids to come first, don’t come asking for a handout from the rest of us, we are already paying plenty in to fund the programs

#14 Jackilope on 10.11.12 at 5:50 pm

Just reading your ALL CAPS (yelling!), I have a feeling that if you were plunked into a teaching position of full classes of middle school students and trying to teach labs, you wouldn’t last a week. It does appear you didn’t do your homework regarding research to back up claims before pulling out the generalizations you did.

There is open enrollment in SD. There are school board positions to run for every few years. You do have a voice and can attend school board meetings or bring up a concern.

So, LJL, you do have a voice as a parent, though if you rant on IN ALL CAPS or make up your own facts, you lose some credibility.

#15 Jackilope on 10.11.12 at 6:08 pm

BTW – have had one of my kids in private and public schools. VERY pleased with both, but honestly, the public school system is as good if not better than private.

Again, LJL, my biggest complaint with RL 16 is that there is no supporting research or evidence for the law. The Gov. chooses to believe ALEC written bills — ignoring those in the field. The Gov. also enjoys a surplus in his budget after hacking into the education moneys and forcing cuts to programs last year. Instead of even trying to repair the cuts, he engaged in a case of distraction. Pointing this out isn’t griping about the job, this is, however, pointing out the Gov’s divisive education agenda.

#16 LJL on 10.11.12 at 6:49 pm

Correction… We are outspent by only 1 country. Switzerland

I wish all teachers to make as much as you can squeeze out of the tax payers. Just give me the OPTION of choosing were my child’s education tax money is spent. I did not become a teacher because it is a nine month a year job and pays as such. If your overworked and under payed, than just walk away. ANd I will Choose WhATever FoNT Size I would Like.

#17 OleSlewFoot on 10.13.12 at 9:32 am

Cost to educate a studuent is based somewhat on cost of labor. USA teachers are paid more. From a link in a Forbes article.

We have the same issue in healthcare. The US has healthcare providers who make much more than providers in other countries.

#18 l3wis on 10.14.12 at 8:47 am

I guess I have never taken issue with teacher pay as much I have taken issue with administrator pay, or the amount of them. I think schools should be filled with educators not pencil pushers. More teachers, less administrators.

#19 OleSlewFoot on 10.14.12 at 8:59 am

Agreed l3wis..too many 6 figure people in administration in both fields.

To the point of your post, raising sales tax for this is just a bad idea. If they want tax revenue to fund this, why not tax big ticket luxury items at 1%. Like a new car, you don’t NEED a new car, used ones work just fine. You NEED food and clothing.

#20 Detroit Lewis on 10.15.12 at 4:46 pm

When councilor Bob Jamison was on the city council he suggested we increase the city tax on cable. I can’t remember all the specifics, but he argued that it was a ‘luxury’. So I emailed him and said, “Why stop at cable? Why not tax all luxuries at higher rates? Like luxury homes, cars, boats, etc.” He never responded.

#21 Analog Kid on 11.02.12 at 4:29 pm

When it comes to education I never have to read any of these measures or fine print.. What does education cost?? It all depends on the parents involvement. My dad worked with us on what we were interested in making the subjects in school totally irrelevant. If you work with the students and treat them with respect they will seek the knowledge. I made my own lunch or I starved until I started selling goods on the side to pay for my own lunch..

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