Entries Tagged 'SF School District' ↓

Reifel Middle school name ‘Probably’ suggested by ONE person

Besides only ONE person showing up to the School Board meeting to protest the new HS being named after Jefferson (because he was a slave owner) there was a presentation by Dr. Boysen on how the names were chosen.

She talked about the super secret naming committee which consisted of 14 members (only 4 were named, apparently the other ten must be a part of the witness protection program).

She proudly stated that two-thirds surveyed suggested Slavery HS but when it came to the suggestion of Ben Reifel she said ‘Someone’ suggested the name. So as I suspected, it was suggested by ONE person, and we have NO idea who it was. No surprise, typical of elitist school administrators who know better than us. So basically the middle school was named after the School District administrators with NO suggestions from the actual public.

Was the $2 a month tax increase for school bond total BS?

KELO-TV Screenshot (July 10, 2018)

I have often thought the sell-job we got on the opt-out really didn’t add up. I was looking at my property tax bill today and got suspicious where it lists the school opt-out. I didn’t think much of it until a South DaCola foot soldier posted this comment;

I just checked last year’s tax bill. It was $ 1164.57 for the year. Now, it is $ 1261.49. So, the increase for our modest home is $ 96.92 from ’17 to ’18. So where is that extra $ 16.75 coming from? I guess merely from an annual increase, which does not need opt out approval, huh?

I also noticed that my 2017 tax bill acknowledges a $ 80.33 opt out cost, too, which is found within the $ 1164.57. So the $80.17 mentioned for 2018 does not include past opt outs. So what was suppose to be $24, or $30 in my case – based on the honest evaluation of my home – has somehow become $ 80.17. That $ 50.17 difference might not seem to be much, but how can $24 ,or $30, becoming $50.17 be true transparency?

I looked at the value of my home and extrapolated for a $200K house. The tax increase for the opt-out for the school bond would actually be about $8 a month, NOT $2 a month.

So if this is true, how did the $2 a month promise turn into 4 times that amount? Probably like how a hand tabulated election by the school district’s finance department got a 85% passage rate.

Why would you name a middle school after a gun?

While I have not taken issue with naming the new middle school after Ben Reifel, many people in the community (who have no clue who he is) have been saying the same thing, “Why would you name a school after a gun?” My response was, “Why would you allow the finance department of the SFSD count the votes on a $300 Millions dollar bond?”

Another reason why a ‘public’ vetting needed to be done when selecting the names of the schools. Yet again the elitists with the school district seem to think they know better than the public. At least picking a mascot will be easy.

New schools named after a Slave owner & Lakota lawmaker

This is a signed photo I have of Ben Reifel with Ms. Universe (Greece) and Ms. South Dakota (not sure of the date).

Oh, the irony of naming one school after a Native American and a slave owner who seduced one (or more) of his slaves. I will just let that go.

It should NOT surprise us that they named the HS after Jefferson. That was a forgone conclusion. But while I like Reifel* as the choice for the Middle School, I would be curious how many people recommended the name. My guess is ONE. This is why the committee met in secret, and we only have the names of two of the members (School Board President Alberty and a Lakota student). We were told in the press conference that the committee consisted of 12 people, and two co-chairs, Dr. Boysen and Super Nold. The members were students, teachers, parents and administrators. No other names.

I am still disappointed that the committee met in secret with secret members and no idea what the other suggestions were. If this was a private school, they could have done this all in secret, but since the SFSD is funded by taxpayers this process should have been in the open. Just like the school bond election, a total SHAM.

*Ben Reifel served five terms as U.S. Congressman for South Dakota and is of Lakota Sioux descent. I bet if you asked 5 students or parents before the announcement they would have NO CLUE who Reifel was. He actually has an impeccable reputation of highest integrity. My guess is he would have been very disappointed in the naming process.

Sioux Falls School District announces naming committee

In a press release, Super Maher said, “We figured we would call on a group that not only is good at keeping secrets but has great historical knowledge when it comes to famous leaders.”

SD State Legislature won’t fund education properly but want schools to buy plaques that violate church and state

God, Guns, and Abortion, that is all the legislature seems to be concerned about. Now they want schools to violate separation of church and state, yet provide NO funding mechanism;

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to require 1 the national motto of the United States to be

2 displayed in public schools.


4 Section 1. That chapter 13-24 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

5 Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the national motto of the United States, “In God

6 We Trust,” shall be displayed in each public school. The display shall be located in a prominent

7 location within each public school. The display may take the form of a mounted plaque, student

8 artwork, or any other appropriate form as determined by the school principal.

9 For the purposes of this section, a prominent location is a school entryway, cafeteria, or

10 other common area where students are most likely to see the national motto display.

While some may argue that the term ‘GOD’ doesn’t talk about a specific religion, I still think it borders on violation of the separation clause. What’s even worse is that the legislature wants schools to apparently fund this on their own without providing a funding mechanism. A sign or plaque that is prominently displayed could cost anywhere from $75 to $750 dollars. This is a waste of educational dollars. If I was one of these schools I would take a highlighter to a dollar bill and put it in a frame and hang that up. In America, we only have one true God, and it is green.

Why is the Sioux Falls School District being so secret about naming new schools? Tradition?

In defense of tradition, they have named schools this way for over decade;

District policy requires that name be selected by a committee, and to help the committee decide, the district conducted a survey on its website.

But the public won’t see those survey results. Maher on Monday denied an Argus Leader open records request for all responses submitted to the survey.

”The raw survey data does not stand alone and is not required of the policy in the naming process,” Maher’s response stated. “Instead, it is a means for the committee to solicit input from the community as one factor for consideration.”

But that doesn’t mean the tradition should continue. Why not solicit input from the community in a public meeting? I suggest the committee meet in public with the top names and discuss in an open forum and take public input before they vote on the final decision. Silly me, that would require the SFSD to change all of their policies on transparency.

And who is sitting on this secret committee?

While I suppose I should be angry, I am certainly not surprised. This process has been secretive from the beginning. It’s one of the biggest shams ever pulled on the citizens of Sioux Falls. Does it really matter what these schools are called? In my mind they will always stand for corruption whether you name it Jefferson or Attila the Hun High School.

Property tax reduction program ‘Questionable’

The more we look into the property tax reductions over the past ten years, the more questions we have. While we are still researching this, some things that stick out so far;

DOC: Historical – Tax Reduction Program.pdf

Tax Reduction Program – Informational Jan. 8.pdf

How was the mayor(s) (Munson & Huether) able to sign off on these, through the Planning Department without the review of the city council? Or even the County Commissions and School District? Were there any state laws violated?

One of the biggest recipients was involved in many LLC’s and ownership groups related to Legacy Development. Ironically one of the persons who would have known about the reductions, Daren Ketchum, now works for Legacy.

Many of the recipients are long time established, successful Sioux Falls businesses, like Raven & Gage brothers. Why would they need tax incentives?

Some of the recipients also received TIFs on top of the reduction, for example Washington Square.

Ironically Midco received a 2018 reduction of $129K. This is just a year after announcing a sponsorship of our Aquatic Center.

Did the TenHaken administration decide to blow the lid off of this to 1) wash there hands of the practice and 2) to see if the media will do some digging around? COS Erica Beck worked in the Planning office when some of these reductions were handed out.

Like I said, we are still researching the ‘many’ connections between the reduction recipients and the previous administration and will have more findings coming soon.

Just name the new High School ‘Jefferson’ and get it over with

Don’t you love all this ‘officialness’ and ‘secrecy’ surrounding the new school names? Shocker? Right?

More than 2,000 people weighed in on names for a new Sioux Falls high school and middle school after a survey went out last month.

But the public won’t know what their name suggestions were.

Sioux Falls School District spokeswoman Carly Uthe told the Argus Leader on Wednesday that suggestions will be given to a naming committee assembled by Superintendent Brian Maher. That committee will meet privately to review the suggestions, choose a name for each school and bring those names before the school board for a final vote as early as Jan. 28.

“We aren’t releasing any specific names we’ve received,” Uthe said via email.

So Why the F’ck did you ask for them to begin with? What would be the harm in 1) Showing the TOP 20 suggestions to the public (that fit the criteria) and 2) having the naming committee’s meeting open to the public with public comment? How is a secret meeting, with secret people selected by the Super have anything to do with involving the public?

You might as well skip all this hoopla, slap Jefferson’s name on the new HS and get it over with.

Did someone do a cartoon about the SFSD?

I’m not sure how old this is, but it seems some problems will never be solved, even with $300 Million in bond payments.