I’m calling for a special session to address our state’s education needs. We are beholden only to those who put us into office. That is why I’m calling for a special session. We need to provide our education system long-term stability.
The legislature needs to offer the solution and the Governor needs to let us. There is separation of powers for a reason. I don’t think the people of South Dakota are thrilled that a group of 26 individuals will present a previously agreed upon set of funding mechanisms to fill the problem and that the task forces’ prescribed solutions will be the only ones allowed at the table.
That’s our job we hold the power of the purse. 54% of our education funding comes from local taxpayers. Our taxpayers prioritize education. Furthermore, our taxpayers want the decisions to come from all their elected officials. It’s time to move decisions back to representation of the people and free up our teachers and local school boards.
I will make public 15 days after the date the letters are sent who supported this “Special Session.” It’s important for the citizens of South Dakota to know who holds educational needs a priority in the State of South Dakota.
Rep. Elizabeth May, District 27
Following is background on the “Blue Ribbon Task Force” and the email all legislators received prior to the meeting held in Rapid City.
During the last SD Legislative Session SB53 moved the funding of the state mandated assessments, technology and sparsity in a sperate bill. As the South Dakota DOE said in all the presentations to the appropriations committee, “All they are asking is the local taxpayer to share in these costs.” If the state is going to mandate testing and technology, then the state should fully cover those costs.
Over $680,000 was spent in annual fees that SD pays to belong to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The total for the three-year contract will be over $2 million. They are call fees rather than dues, because dues are set, but fees can increase according to the number of tests administered.
Now to the “Blue Ribbon Task Force”. As a legislator I was very optimistic about the task force. I had planned on attending the scheduled meetings. Yesterday, all legislators received a email from the Gov.’s Chief of Staff on behalf of the Co-Chairs Sen Deb Sohlt and Rep. Jacque Sly. Following is excerpt:
Greetings to our Legislative Colleagues!
We have the privilege of co-chairing the Blue Ribbon Task Force on K-12 Teachers and Students to reevaluate the current funding formula, collect and analyze data, engage with stakeholders and seek public input. We will then make recommendations to the 2016 Legislature for reform.
With the focus on solely on education funding and teacher pipeline, we will not be considering standards/curriculum, assessments, student achievement etc.
The Technology and Innovation in Education (TIE) group is helping with overall facilitation for the effort (as when PEW assisted with criminal justice and juvenile justice reform).
We want to update you on the status of the work, and invite you to come to scheduled meetings to listen/observe public input.
I don’t know how you discuss education funding without discussing the Common Core, assessments and federal mandates for which the South Dakota Department of Education has become the enforcement arm.
I don’t know how you discuss the teacher pipeline without discussing the Common Core and its underlying message that we can’t trust teachers to teach. I don’t know one teacher who went into teaching to create data points and spend their days doing test prep. Will they look at this as contributing to the teacher shortage?
Please remember that at the same time, schools were being forced to take cuts, teacher salaries were either frozen or cut, the state chose to adopt unproven content standards which required professional development for teachers to learn an unproven pedagogy.
And what an affront to legislators. To be asked not to participate and to support the work of this panel. What if there is a disagreement? I wasn’t aware that we elected representatives to support the vision of a governor appointed panel.
And those stakeholders the panel is working with, here’s a little on those organizations.
South Dakota PTA – We know the national PTA has accepted funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the Common Core.
SDEA South Dakota Education Association – We know that the NEA (National Education Association has accepted funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to, among other things, develop Common Core aligned curriculum. The SDEA is one of the organizations that works very hard legislatively to prevent the repeal or defunding of the Common Core.
TIE Technology & Innovation in Education – This organization is the South Dakota arm of mass customized learning, the program where students spend their time with an electronic device guiding their learning vs. a teacher guiding their learning. They have partnered with the SD Department of Education.
ASBSD Associated School Boards of South Dakota – This organization is also very busy legislatively blocking the removal of the Common Core Standards and testing. The National School Board Association has accepted Gates Foundation Grant money.
SASD School Administrators of South Dakota – This organization is comprised of Elementary and Secondary Principals and Superintendents. This organization works very hard to block legislation removing the Common Core and the testing.
If the legislators appointed to the “Blue Ribbon Task Force” were listening to the small group discussions they’d find participants having meaningful discussions about what is really costing schools money. They’d be hearing how these added “costs of compliance” and “cost of state and federal mandates” are effecting their classrooms, teachers and children. After receiving the email from Chief of Staff Tony Venhuizen on behalf of Co-Chairs Sen. Deb Soholt and Rep. Jacque Sly it’s obvious that non-participation from legislators (who are also taxpayers and citizens of SD) is part of the controlled environment.” I think this strategy is referred to as “Delphi Technique” used to control the output of a group and make them all think they had participation.
Rep. Elizabeth May, District 27
PETITION FOR A SPECIAL SESSION
THE SYSTEM OF EDUCATING ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY STUDENTS
Pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of Article III, Section 31, of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, I hereby petition the presiding officers of both houses of the Legislature to convene a special session of the Legislature, to commence at 10:00 a.m. on August 17, 2015 and to adjourn as determined by the Legislature, for the sole purpose of addressing the system of educating elementary and secondary students in the state. The special session shall address the teachers, facilities, and resources needed to provide a quality education including possible sources for increased funding for education, the length of the school year, the pay for teachers, the use of technology in education, and the assessments used to measure academic progress.
In witness thereof, I subscribe my signature.
YES VOTES ARE BASED ON PETITIONS I RECEIVED BACK 15 DAYS AFTER THE MAILING DATE. NO VOTES MEANS, I RECEIVED THE RETURN RECEIPT INDICATING THEY RECEIVED THE PETITION, BUT THEY DID NOT RETURN THE SIGNED PETITION. IF THERE’S NOT A VOTE RECORDED THAT MEANS THEY DID NOT PICK UP THE CERTIFIED LETTER.
IT’S “NOT TOO LATE” FOR LEGISLATORS TO SIGN UP FOR A “SPECIAL SESSION” BUT THEY’LL NEED ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE PEOPLE THAT PUT THEM IN OFFICE. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD BY CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATORS.
|NO||David||Anderson||H||R||16||605-957-6510||29177 477th Ave.||Hudson||57034|
|NO||Julie||Bartling||H||D||21||605-835-8120||28921 US Hwy. 18||Gregory||57533|
|NO||Arch||Beal||H||R||12||605-336-3034||4815 N. Northview Ave.||Sioux Falls||57107|
|NO||Jim||Bolin||H||R||16||605-261-9669||403 West 11th St.||Canton||57013-2418|
|NO||Shawn||Bordeaux||H||D||26A||PO Box 283||Mission||57555|
|YES||Jim||Bradford||S||D||27||605-685-4241||PO Box 690||Pine Ridge||57770-0690|
|NO||Corey||Brown||S||R||23||605-769-0540||316 S. Potter St.||Gettysburg||57442|
|NO||Thomas||Brunner||H||R||29||605-257-2336||18769 Quin Road||Nisland||57762-7646|
|NO||Angie||Buhl O’Donnell||S||D||15||605-376-2512||521 N. Prairie||Sioux Falls||57104|
|NO||Gary||Cammack||S||R||29||605-985-5591||PO Box 100||Union Center||57787-0100|
|YES||Blaine “Chip”||Campbell||H||R||35||605-393-1645||3480 Colvin St.||Rapid City||57703|
|Kristin||Conzet||H||R||32||605-342-6658||1523 West Blvd||Rapid City||57701-4551|
|NO||Scott||Craig||H||R||33||605-342-0999||8556 Heather Dr.||Rapid City||57702-7710|
|NO||Justin||Cronin||H||R||23||PO Box 42||Gettysburg||57442|
|R. Blake||Curd||S||R||12||605-331-5890||38 S. Riverview Hts.||Sioux Falls||57105|
|Fred||Deutsch||H||R||04||605-882-3323||16452 449th Ave.||Florence||57235|
|YES||Lynne||DiSanto||H||R||35||605-389-0111||4973 Hansen Lane||Rapid City||57703|
|NO||Dan||Dryden||H||R||34||605-721-2902||2902 Tomahawk Dr.||Rapid City||57702-4250|
|NO||Mary||Duvall||H||R||24||605-224-4070||PO Box 453||Pierre||57501|
|NO||Bob||Ewing||S||R||31||605-722-5559||PO Box 607||Spearfish||57783|
|NO||Dennis||Feickert||H||D||01||605-225-5844||38485 129th St||Aberdeen||57401-8386|
|NO||Scott||Fiegen||S||R||25||605-428-5504||203 E. 4th St.||Dell Rapids||57022|
|NO||Jason||Frerichs||S||D||01||605-938-4273||13507 465th Avenue||Wilmot||57279|
|NO||Peggy||Gibson||H||D||22||605-352-9862||1010 Valley View Ct.||Huron||57350-4221|
|Brian||Gosch||H||R||32||605-719-3365||312 Alta Vista Dr.||Rapid City||57701-2337|
|YES||Lana||Greenfield||H||R||02||605-635-6932||PO Box 243||Doland||57436|
|YES||Brock||Greenfield||S||R||02||605-532-4088||507 N. Smith St.||Clark||57225-1250|
|Jenna||Haggar||S||R||10||605-610-9779||PO Box 763||Sioux Falls||57101|
|Don||Haggar||H||R||10||605-360-8130||PO Box 1532||Sioux Falls||57101|
|NO||Michele||Harrison||H||R||23||605-850-9989||PO Box 303||Mobridge||57601|
|NO||Steven||Haugaard||H||R||10||605-332-1171||47629 258th St.||Sioux Falls||57104|
|NO||Terri||Haverly||S||R||35||22983 Candlelight Dr.||Rapid City||57703|
|Paula||Hawks||H||D||09||605-254-2440||405 S. Tessa Ave.||Hartford||57033|
|NO||Spencer||Hawley||H||D||07||605-692-9716||1215 W. 8th St. S.||Brookings||57006-2972|
|Phyllis||Heineman||S||R||13||605-339-2167||2005 S. Phillips||Sioux Falls||57105-2939|
|NO||Leslie||Heinemann||H||R||08||605-997-2654||47962 228th St.||Flandreau||57028-6701|
|Troy||Heinert||S||D||26||605-856-5045||PO Box 348||Mission||57555|
|Steve||Hickey||H||R||09||605-321-5430||4501 N. Ellis Rd.||Sioux Falls||57107|
|NO||Ried||Holien||S||R||05||605-886-4330||PO Box 443||Watertown||57201|
|NO||Thomas||Holmes||H||R||14||4709 Shields Ave.||Sioux Falls||57103|
|Bernie||Hunhoff||S||D||18||605-665-2975||707 Riverside Dr.||Yankton||57078|
|Jean||Hunhoff||H||R||18||605-665-1463||2511 Mulligan Dr||Yankton||57078|
|NO||Roger||Hunt||H||R||25||605-582-3865||PO Box 827||Brandon||57005|
|NO||Alex||Jensen||H||R||12||5915 S. Remington Pl.||Sioux Falls||57108|
|YES||Phil||Jensen||S||R||33||605-343-1335||10215 Pioneer Ave.||Rapid City||57702|
|NO||Timothy||Johns||H||R||31||605-722-3189||203 W. Main St.||Lead||57754|
|YES||Dan||Kaiser||H||R||03||605-228-4988||1415 Nicklaus Dr.||Aberdeen||57401-8822|
|Kevin||Killer||H||D||27||605-454-8105||PO Box 322||Pine Ridge||57770-0322|
|NO||Patrick||Kirschman||H||D||15||605-366-4798||901 N. Duluth Ave. #1||Sioux Falls||57104-2328|
|NO||Joshua||Klumb||H||R||20||605-770-9708||26296 401st Ave.||Mount Vernon||57363|
|Kris||Langer||H||R||25||605-428-4929||600 W. 7th Street||Dell Rapids||57022|
|NO||Isaac||Latterell||H||R||06||PO Box 801||Tea||57064|
|YES||J. Sam||Marty||H||R||28B||605-866-4477||16692 Antelope Rd.||Prairie City||57649|
|YES||Elizabeth||May||H||R||27||605-455-2588||20261 BIA 2||Kyle||57752-7400|
|YES||Steven||McCleerey||H||D||01||605-698-7478||45708 116th St.||Sisseton||57262-7019|
|NO||G. Mark||Mickelson||H||R||13||605-371-3365||101 N Main Ave., Suite 321||Sioux Falls||57105|
|NO||Jeff||Monroe||S||R||24||605-224-0264||127 W. Dakota Ave.||Pierre||57501|
|Scott||Munsterman||H||R||07||605-691-9930||1133 W. 8th St. S.||Brookings||57006|
|NO||Al||Novstrup||H||R||03||605-226-2505||1705 Northview Lane||Aberdeen||57401-2268|
|NO||David||Novstrup||S||R||03||1008 S. Wells St.||Aberdeen||57401-7373|
|YES||Betty||Olson||S||R||28||605-855-2824||11919 SD Hwy. 79||Prairie City||57649|
|David||Omdahl||S||R||11||605-323-0098||PO Box 88235||Sioux Falls||57109-8235|
|NO||Herman||Otten||H||R||06||605-498-5460||PO Box 326||Tea||57064-0325|
|NO||Scott||Parsley||S||D||08||605-256-4984||103 N. Liberty Ave.||Madison||57042-2706|
|NO||Jeffrey||Partridge||H||R||34||605-718-1912||7174 Prestwick Road||Rapid City||57702|
|NO||Deb||Peters||S||R||09||605-321-4168||705 N. Sagehorn Dr.||Hartford||57033-2380|
|Kent||Peterson||H||R||19||605-425-3299||440 E. Washington Ave.||Salem||57058|
|NO||Jim||Peterson||S||D||04||605-623-4573||16952 482nd Ave.||Revillo||57259-5208|
|NO||Lee||Qualm||H||R||21||605-337-3682||27507 John Qualm Rd.||Platte||57369|
|Bruce||Rampelberg||S||R||30||605-343-9703||13948 Lariat Rd.||Rapid City||57702|
|NO||Nancy||Rasmussen||H||R||17||605-238-5321||28639 458th Ave.||Hurley||57036-6410|
|NO||Ray||Ring||H||D||17||605-675-9379||607 Sterling Street||Vermillion||57069-3453|
|NO||Fred||Romkema||H||R||31||605-722-1432||230 Fairway Drive||Spearfish||57783-3110|
|NO||Tim||Rounds||H||R||24||605-224-6588||1813 Abbey Rd.||Pierre||57501|
|NO||Tona||Rozum||H||R||20||605-996-2190||87 S. Harmon Dr.||Mitchell||57301|
|NO||Arthur||Rusch||S||R||17||605-624-8723||PO Box 312||Vermillion||57069-0312|
|YES||Lance||Russell||H||R||30||605-745-6871||1938 Lincoln Ave.||Hot Springs||57747|
|NO||James||Schaefer||H||R||26B||605-869-2357||23026 SD Hwy. 273||Kennebec||57544-5201|
|NO||Lee||Schoenbeck||H||R||05||PO Box 1325||Watertown||57201|
|NO||Kyle||Schoenfish||H||R||19||605-660-6468||42472 Maxwell Rd.||Scotland||57059-7106|
|YES||Dean||Schrempp||H||D||28A||605-964-6541||1999 Trails end, Box 62||Lantry||57636|
|NO||William||Shorma||S||R||16||605-422-3282||21 Spanish Bay||Dakota Dunes||57049|
|NO||Jacqueline||Sly||H||R||33||605-343-4956||22560 Potter Rd.||Rapid City||57702-6132|
|NO||Deb||Soholt||S||R||14||605-321-5931||2628 E. Regency Ct.||Sioux Falls||57103|
|NO||Alan||Solano||S||R||32||605-342-8974||3410 Wisconsin Ave.||Rapid City||57701|
|NO||Karen||Soli||H||D||15||605-338-5934||810 W. 6th St.||Sioux Falls||57104-2904|
|NO||Roger||Solum||H||R||05||605-882-7056||1333 Mayfair Drive||Watertown||57201-1155|
|YES||Jim||Stalzer||H||R||11||605-838-0354||5909 W. Bristol Dr.||Sioux Falls||57106-0660|
|Mike||Stevens||H||R||18||605-661-0057||214 Marina Dell||Yankton||57078|
|NO||Billie||Sutton||S||D||21||919 Franklin St.||Burke||57523|
|NO||Larry||Tidemann||S||R||07||605-692-1267||251 Indian Hills Rd.||Brookings||57006|
|Craig||Tieszen||S||R||34||605-348-4990||3416 Brookside Dr.||Rapid City||57702-8118|
|NO||Burt||Tulson||H||R||02||605-785-3480||44975 SD Hwy. 28||Lake Norden||57248|
|NO||Bill||Van Gerpen||S||R||19||605-589-3064||PO Box 10||Tyndall||57066|
|NO||Mike||Vehle||S||R||20||605-996-5778||132 N. Harmon Dr.||Mitchell||57301|
|NO||Mike||Verchio||H||R||30||605-574-2466||289 Rainbow Ridge Ct.||Hill City||57745|
|NO||Dick||Werner||H||R||22||605-353-0957||1505 McDonald Dr.||Huron||57350|
|Steve||Westra||H||R||13||605-271-1623||5100 S. Twinleaf Dr.||Sioux Falls||57108|
|Jim||White||S||R||22||605-352-8184||1145 Beach Circle NE||Huron||57350-4700|
|NO||John||Wiik||H||R||04||605-880-1440||PO Box 95||Big Stone City||57216|
|NO||Mark||Willadsen||H||R||11||605-361-6104||7712 W. Benelli Circle||Sioux Falls||57106-7790|
|NO||Dean||Wink||H||R||29||605-985-5240||PO Box 137||Howes||57748-0137|
|Mathew||Wollmann||H||R||08||605-480-3038||210 W. Center St., Apt. 302||Madison||57042|
|NO||Larry||Zikmund||H||R||14||605-373-0975||2405 E. 52nd St.||Sioux Falls||57103|