South Dakota Public Education’s Dirty Little Secret

While everyone is gnashing teeth over teachers rolling around on ice for a handful of bills, there is one part of the story missing from the conversation;

The South Dakota Education Association President says he believes the event was well-intentioned but…
“It just underscores the fact that educators don’t have the resources necessary to meet the needs of their students and that’s what’s kind of cropping up here I think,” SDEA President Loren Paul said.


Not really. It is a well known secret that while teacher pay in South Dakota may be dead last, administrator pay rates anywhere from 11th33rd in the country depending on the position. I have often asked the question why NON-UNION administrators are paid at such a higher National rate then teachers? This is the real disparity issue here and if it was adjusted there would be plenty of money for teacher pay and school room supplies so teachers don’t have to act like rootin’ hogs on the ice.


What often amazes me when ‘teacher pay’ stories come up every year around this time, nobody in the media talks about this disparity or the fact that a lot of private and public professional jobs like nursing also pay dead last in the state. It seems mentioning management pay in these articles is taboo.


I encourage the local media to dig around a little, and ASK why administrator pay rates average around 25th in the nation while teacher pay rates 49th? Things that make you go hmmmmm . . .



15 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 12.14.21 at 9:32 pm

Teachers are degreed professionals with continuing education. Having them fight for dollars is disgusting. It proves how under compensated they are. Our teachers are not strippers. They’re leaders who guide youth into careers.

This is a call to action. It’s nationally embarrassing. Teachers can now go on strike with the support of the public. Education administration should take pay cuts. If they resign, there are plenty of conscientious more qualified teachers to take their place.

#2 Silverstar of Bethlehem on 12.14.21 at 11:17 pm

But strippers are teachers and they make a hell of a lot more money. Put a pole in every class room and watch the lunch money disappear. What do you mean that school lunches are now free? There’s no such thing as a free lunch nor a free stripper.

#3 Very Stable Genius on 12.14.21 at 11:19 pm

Isn’t this the same state with all of those trusts?

#4 Defund education on 12.15.21 at 10:04 am

We need to get govt out of the education business…..and business is booming. And, if govt can’t have education taken from its grasps, then the $$$$ should follow each student-wherever they go, including private religious schools. That way the parents control what their children learn instead of the Uber powerful teachers union. I know, I know, but…but…the Dems have paid for those votes, that is what is wrong with this country.

#5 Conservative Here on 12.15.21 at 10:22 am

The Fake/Forced outrage at the event was ridiculous!! The fact that teachers are underpaid is well known BUT, it had NOTHING to do with private organizations doing a fund raiser to fill the gap, how ever they see fit. This is why I can never take people who get bent out of shape about stuff like this seriously.

#6 truth on 12.15.21 at 11:02 am

the sioux falls school district is incredibly top heavy with very well paid administrators. this has been steadily growing since jack keegan was the super…and really took off under homan.
need to elect better people to the school board who will not cow-tow and will raise hell about this. we haven’t had anyone on the board do that for a very long time.
Scott, you know the answer to your question about the media…they are lazy.

#7 D@ily Spin on 12.15.21 at 11:40 am

You’re sick if you like watching your child’s teacher crawling around for a dollar. Those who organized this must be named publicly and punished.

#8 Punished? on 12.15.21 at 7:25 pm

So, if you donate $5000 to teachers to use for supplies in their classroom, you should be punished? I’m going to ask that you read your posts out loud before hitting submit, no way you are that ignorant, that post had to be a mistake?

Few years ago my wife had to go to the rodeo in the arena, catch sheep, and put a tee shirt on one. She didn’t get a share of $5000, cause, well….IT WAS ENTERTAINMENT!!!! And to be clear, she is more educated and professional than 3/4 of the teachers in the SFSD.

#9 l3wis on 12.15.21 at 7:38 pm

Hey, if teachers want to roll around on the ice, so be it, I don’t care and I agree I think they made a stupid stink about it. My argument is that Admin Pay and Teacher Pay should rank the same. If admin is at 30th teacher should be at 30th. I also think it is a farce that teachers pay out of their own pockets for classroom supplies. They should each get a budget. But don’t get me on a rant about teacher pay, considering they get paid for the entire year and get the whole summer off and their pay ranks about the same with other professionals in the state, I don’t shed too many tears. I think school should go all 12 months a year with some quarterly breaks (a week off every 3 months and holidays). It would also save parents a lot of money in daycare during the summer. Economically and educationally for the kids it makes sense to go all year.

#10 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.15.21 at 8:19 pm

Teachers are well compensated in this State, maybe you people should confront all those glorious UNIONS that agreed to the form of compensation they got – Very well off Retirement and Healthcare Benefits, and still we give them $51,000 a year.

So what if we ask them to pay for Supplies, Additional Tools and Literature to help them educate their students. So what…

This was a fun loving game, hosted by a private organization to help reward teachers.

Enjoy Life, Relax, and Have Some Fun.

I think “COVID” got to your brains if all of you are so worked up over this funloving little game. Leave Your House, and Chill Out, Have a Beer, and Enjoy Life.

Life is too short to be mad at someone earning $51,000 a year.

I am self employed, I wish I was guaranteed $51,000 a year, but I am not, But I have to manage my business in order to maintain my way of life.

NO GUARANTEE in the real world, Teachers are Fine.

#11 l3wis on 12.15.21 at 8:32 pm

I found this in my spam folder from an anon commenter, and was able to recover;

First, the game to gather money was fine. It was in good spirit. It has nothing to do with funding. Some lib media grabbed it to try and correlate the two and ran with a stupid story to beat up a state with Noem as governor. Teachers do the same type of stuff in higher funded states. It’s way better then door to door Candy bar sales.

Your stats are a little misleading. SD is 26th in new teacher pay, but 50th average pay. You need to look at buying power too. SD doesn’t not have an income tax and is a very low tax state. Factor that in and you get very comparable wages/buying power to our neighbors.

Pay discrepancies happen because of the 3% raise for everyone compounded over decades. There should be a pay gap between these positions, but % raises that are equal significantly benefit higher paid employees/administrators. One keeps pace with inflation and one gets discretionary income.

#12 l3wis on 12.15.21 at 8:38 pm

I agree Mike. When compared to other professionals with similar education requirements, teachers do well in SD. I don’t make that kind of money, work 12 months out of the year and don’t have a work based pension. I also opposed the half-penny increase because I knew GOP legislators would find a way to rob it and piss it down their legs, which they did. I have said if we want to discuss lifting teacher pay in the state, we need to discuss it with lifting ALL pay in the state.

#13 Did I….. on 12.16.21 at 11:37 am

Just agree with Detroit L3wis???? I feel dirty

#14 anominous on 12.16.21 at 2:56 pm

some cogent commentary on SD teacher pay right here: https://youtu.be/YbBiXPVKuTA?t=74

#15 truth on 12.16.21 at 3:46 pm

this whole stampede promotion has been blown way out of proportion. to Daily Spin, they were named and they actually gave more money to the teachers. to mr. zitterich, you think 51,000 is too much for teachers but tenhaken should get 200,000? that is utter nonsense.
my point is, however you feel about teacher pay, we have a bigger problem with administration bloat and administration salaries. i believe that was the point scott was making all along.