Entries Tagged 'SF School District' ↓

Found on Facebook, AP Scores UP in 2017!

Seems the school start date after Labor Day actually HELPED AP scores. The smartest kids in the room must be reaching for their Preparation H.

Whatever happened to Personal Integrity and Ethics?

When you see stuff like this, you really wonder where we went wrong with our local elected officials;

Doug Morrison, who served on the school board for the last nine years, decided not to run for re-election earlier this year, and now he’s gearing up to take on an administrative role with the school district.

About three weeks after his last board meeting at the end of June, Superintendent Brian Maher offered him an administrative position in research and development.

Before making that offer, Maher checked with legal counsel to ensure he wasn’t violating district policies. He said he expected scrutiny for hiring a former board member, but he said Morrison was the best candidate for the job.

Hey Brian, does it really matter if he is ‘breaking policy’ or not? What about the appearance of putting on a gigantic golden parachute and jumping off the roof of the IPC roof? If Morrison, or for that matter, yourself had any ethics or integrity in this matter, you can see why there SHOULD BE SCRUTINY.

What makes this even more troubling is that there were 29 other applicants;

It would have been easy to pick another of the 29 applicants for the job to avoid scrutiny, Maher said, but he saw Morrison as the best candidate.

Are you telling me that there wasn’t even ONE candidate in that pool that couldn’t do the same job as Morrison? NOT A SINGLE ONE? C’MON!

“Doug’s interest in the position did not influence the creation of the position, the job description or the selection,” Maher said.

Keep telling yourself that Brian, if that’s what helps you sleep better at night. The rest of us are very restless about this selection.

*Cory points out that they are already listing Morrison as a school district employee BEFORE the school board has approved that employment.

‘We may never spend the entire $50 Million opt-out.’ – Sioux Falls School District

Well that didn’t take the school district much time. They pass a $50 million dollar opt-out, give Morrison a golden parachute and now this;

On Wednesday, he unveiled an 11-month timeline for assessing building needs at all grade levels.

The plan culminates next July, where school board members are expected to ultimately determine the scope of the project Maher is calling a “master facilities plan.”

It’s a plan that, in any form, will likely involve redrawing school boundaries and leaning on taxpayers.

“Do we run another bond issue?” Maher asked board members. “I think ultimately we’re going to have to.”

So not only are they busy spending the opt-out, they are planning another bond issue. It seems every government entity in Sioux Falls is making that sucking sound lately.

Want to save millions in public education funding in Sioux Falls? I’ll save you $118K a year in consulting fees; Give out FREE birth control.


Was Morrison offered this position before he decided to NOT run for another school board term?

I found this a very interesting move by the School District;

The job is called Director of Research Innovation and Accountability. The goal is to have one person look into the various programs and future goals of the district, to see where time and money need to be re-directed.

Doug Morrison served nine years on the school board, and is now leaving his high power career as CFO with CitiBank to help the district.

While I don’t disagree that this is a very good idea, I wonder when the negotiations began? I also wonder if this was Morrison’s idea? What did he know before he decided to NOT run again and retire from CitiBank?

I also wonder where state law weighs in on this with open meetings in creating this position and conflicts of interest with a former school board member.

The School District has a lot of splaining to do, especially what this position pays considering Morrison voted for the recent $50 million dollar opt-out before he left office.

Cory also weighs in on the job.

At this point, this deal kinda smells.

Cynthia Mickelson spends 5.5x more than closest opponent

The final 2017 Sioux Falls School Board Race Final Finance Reports came in on July 18. With those reports in we can present the ‘REAL’ numbers of what was spent in the race. I am comparing the top two vote getters, Dobberpuhl and Mickelson.


Mickelson, 2,278 Votes. She spent $6.12 per vote

(Spent $13,944. She raised $21,504)


Dobberpuhl, 1,811 Votes. He spent $1.39 per vote

(Spent $2,524. He raised a little under $2,000)


I originally posted that Mickelson spent 7-10x more than Dobberpuhl, which was NOT TRUE and wanted to correct this with the final numbers.

Mickelson’s Final Report (PDF DOC: Mickelson-YearEnd Report) and First Report (PDF DOC: cyn-a11)

Dobberpuhl’s Final Report (PDF DOC: Dobberpuhl-Final)

I spoke to the School Board about the last school board election and not only raised concerns about how the election was handled (Lack of precincts, etc.) I suggested that there should be a spending cap of $5,000 for candidates. I think it is very hard for regular candidates to compete when their opponents outspend them in such a drastic way.

Mark Mickelson concerned about big money influence, maybe he needs to have that discussion with his wife

Many people across the state are having a good chuckle (or good cry) about the hypocrisy of Mickelson’s proposal to limit big money influence in initiatives. Besides the fact that the Koch brothers have funneled millions into our state from out-of-state donors from ALEC supporters to Republican State legislative races, let’s look at the influence LOCALLY in his wife’s race for school board. While the money may be local, you have to question the BIG money influence in her race. This is from her last financial report (I think the next one is due on July 18);

SE Friends of Affordable Housing $500

SD RPAC $250 (Association of Realtors)

Two Minnehaha county commissioners $600

Dan, Steve & Joe Kirby $750

Dennis Breske (Developer) $100

Dr. Vance Thompson $250

Tom Walsh (Formerly Burger King, now Great Life) $100

Sweetman’s $350

Valerie Fox (Former Principal of Lincoln HS) $500

Dr. Alvine $100

Doug Hajek (Bond Attorney for largest bond provider in the state) $100

Chris Houwman (Developer, Washington Square) $250

Scott Abdallah (Attorney) $100

Erickson’s (City Council) $200

Dana Dykhouse (First Premier Bank) $250

Dave & De Knudson (Sanford Health) $250

Russ Janklow (Attorney) $250

Arch Beal (Beer Distributor) $200

Scott Lawrence (Ad agency) $100

Michael Crane (Developer) $100

Dave Owens (SD Chamber of Commerce) $200

And that is just a sampling. I know what you are thinking, none of the donations are HUGE but they speak volumes, especially when you consider she raised 10x more than her closest competitor.

Mark doesn’t sweat big money when it helps him, his wife or his fellow Republican legislators, but when it comes to ethics reform he wants to crack down on it. Go figure.

Tax OPT-OUT fails to get enough signatures

I knew it was going to be a rough road getting that many signatures in a short period of time. I think they lacked the manpower to get it done. Not sure how many they were short, but after talking to a couple different people from the drive and associates it looks like they came up about 1,000 short (which ironically means they got about as many signatures as the number of people who voted in the last school board election) So I guess we are stuck with paying the $50 million dollar ‘SINISTER’ tax.

I also got thinking about the statement from the school board that they wouldn’t spend the entire tax, and that’s all fine and dandy, but they still have to ‘collect’ the tax. So does that mean at the end of the year, what they don’t spend will be refunded back to us?


In other words, even if they don’t spend it, it still gets collected and goes into investments. At least the school district will not only be able to retain teachers they will keep some stock brokers in Sioux Falls employed. Now shut up, go pay your higher taxes on food so we can retain teachers who teach kids on FREE and reduced lunches. Makes sense? Right?

Sioux Falls School Board Member Kate Parker calls petitioners who can do simple math ‘Sinister’

I will make this very clear from the beginning. I am not sure if the TAX-OPT out petitioners got enough signatures to turn in tomorrow. I can also tell you, I am NOT a fan of Lora Hubbel and her teabagger ways, but to call someone ‘sinister’ for doing simple math is ridiculous;

Beddow’s concerns are shared by Board President Todd Thoelke and Vice President Kate Parker, who called the robocalls “sinister” and “misinformation.”

The conflict stems from a school board meeting last month, in which the five-member board unanimously approved an additional opt out from the property tax limits to the tune of $5 million annually for 10 years.

Yeah, let’s talk ‘sinister’. Up until last week, I thought the OPT-OUT was $5 million OVER 10 years. In fact, that was the statement the school board made during the meeting they approved the tax. Even at the time, I said to someone “While I don’t agree with the opt-out, kinda seems like peanuts to me.” It was never really explained in the meeting that this was $5 MILLION, PER YEAR, for 10 YEARS! Which equals $50 million.

Uh, ok. Not peanuts.

So who really is being ‘sinister’ here? The petitioners that did simple math, or the School Board for misleading taxpayers? I’ll support a tax increase, but when you have to go on the sly to get it done, forget about it.

And can we trust them when they say things like this?

Board members have said repeatedly that they don’t intend to take the full opt out amount, only what they need to keep the bills paid.

So I ask this question in defense? If you are not sure if you need the money, than why take the opt-out? BECAUSE! THEY INTEND TO TAKE THE FULL AMOUNT! You don’t take a loan from the bank and say, “I only need four grand, but what the heck, why don’t I take out six.” Well maybe you do, and you are no smarter than our school board.

I think that is one of the things that angers me besides the misleading about the entire amount, they seem to think tax payers need to believe the hook line and sinker notion that once a tax is implemented that government won’t take all of it.


From the dawn of taxes, they will be taken and they will spend it all, and it will NEVER sunset, or be refunded.

But what makes this even more hilariously tragic is one of the school board members admits the petitioners math is correct, but they wouldn’t dare go after all of it.

On Thursday, Thoelke said definitively that the board will not take the full $50 million over the next 10 years.

His concern is that the robocall makes the board’s decision sound “complicated and sinister.”

“It’s just a shame that they have to go to those tactics to scare people,” Thoelke said.

Then why ask for it? I don’t order a 12 oz ribeye if I am only hungry for a 4 oz sirloin. People should be scared, of your lying.

Mary Buysse, SD Learn leader, stood by the group’s robocall, which went out to 18,000 households in Sioux Falls on Thursday. Buysse’s group paid for the calls.

 “There’s no scare tactic,” she said. “A $5 million opt out for 10 years is $50 million. They can say they may not use it, but we don’t know that.”
And Buysse seems to be the only voice of reason on this one, using simple math. Once again the School District and it’s board members are left with their pants down, so they pull a Huether and try to kill the messenger.
Dobberpuhl should thank his lucky stars he didn’t get elected to this clown show.

Last day to sign opt out tax petition

You can either sign at the County Administration Building OR at the 57th street entrance of Yankton Trail Park, all day today. The petitions are due tomorrow.

Don’t forget to sign the petition this 4th of July

As I understand it, the petitioners will be at Falls Park collecting signatures for tax opt-out on 4th of July. So celebrate America, FREE pork sandwiches, and your right to petition your government.