SD among first to ask for more coronavirus relief funds for education – Dakota Free Press

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Republican fears of inflation and indoctrination sparked by injections of federal dollars into the South Dakota economy (not to mention a supposed budget surplus and our rejection of communism) hasn’t stopped us from being one of the first states to request and accept federal coronavirus relief funds to pay for our schools. Of the seven states approved this week for emergency relief funds for elementary and secondary schools in the US bailout, South Dakota is tied with Texas in submitting the first begging letters on June 3, beating the other states at the low of four days. The liberal Communist states of Minnesota and California haven’t even submitted any plans yet (or at least they’re not posted on the USDOE website).

Clearly, South Dakota needs an increasing $ 127 million from the $ 255 million ARP ESSER funding given to South Dakota in March to (1) “support[] solid pedagogy and educational opportunities ”, (2)“ address[] socio-emotional and mental health needs of students ”, and (3)“ continue[e] to address the problems of recruiting and retaining educators.

# 3 should be of particular political interest. The current recruitment and retention policy that our state DOE praises in demand is the half-cent sales tax to increase teachers’ salaries passed in 2016. Does the state plan to convert part of those $ 127 million in hiring bonuses for new teachers, or maybe retention bonuses for everyone at the K-12 whiteboard? $ 42 million distributed among 9,760 teachers would cost each teacher’s salary $ 4,300. It would be a big thank you to our teachers for forcing them to work in person during a pandemic.

But South Dakota’s request does not specify how it would use the money to recruit and retain teachers amid the Big Quit. Our DOE tells federal authorities that we’re not even sure the pandemic has affected our teaching staff:

Over the past six years, South Dakota has taken proactive steps to address the challenges of recruiting and retaining educators. The pandemic will likely exacerbate some of these challenges; therefore, it will be essential to understand the real impact of the pandemic on education personnel. This understanding will lead to innovative strategies that will target both traditional students leaving teacher preparation programs and those interested in entering the field of teaching through an alternative route. The ministry expects strategies in this area to build on existing efforts established in 2016 with the passage of a landmark law (i.e. the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and students). This legislation resulted in a sales tax of half a cent with revenues going to the state’s schools funding formula – in particular, to support increased teacher salaries statewide. As part of the related recruitment / retention efforts, the department has developed a statewide mentorship program for first and second year teachers; easier entry into the teaching profession through alternative certification routes; partnered with school administrators in South Dakota to mentor new principals; and partnered with Black Hills State University to offer two cohorts of paraprofessionals working in high-need schools the opportunity to earn a teaching degree and certification [South Dakota Department of Education, application for ARP ESSER funds, 2021.06.03].

Probable translation: We’ll spend that money keeping our DOE staff busy doing surveys. If there’s any money left, we’ll spend it on things we already do, plus a great marketing campaign.

Our DOE says it will use part of the new funds to help Indian students, English learners and other children from disadvantaged groups make up for what they missed while they were stuck in learning. line, which the DOE said was not a good alternative for students from disadvantaged groups. I know this horse has been out of the barn a long time ago, but if we had spent more of our first tranche of coronavirus relief dollars to build a safer, more solid online education, we wouldn’t have to spend that much. that slice of coronavirus relief money for remedial education.

The state DOE notes that in its ideological goal of keeping schools open for in-person instruction, it hasn’t even bothered to put in place a system to track the number of students passing through the school. ” online or hybrid learning:

The department has voluntarily chosen not to collect data on the mode of teaching during the 2020-21 school year for two reasons. First, the SEA had asked schools to commit to providing in-person instruction, to the extent possible, and wanted principals, teachers and staff to focus their time and effort on this priority. Second, the state-provided student management system was not put in place to keep up with the teaching mode. Therefore, the ministry chose to publish a comprehensive survey of all accredited schools at the end of the school year. This year-end COVID impact survey included questions on school participation in each mode of education.

… At the state level, the student information system does not have the capacity to disaggregate student enrollment or attendance data by mode of education. The ministry is currently exploring options to enter the data described above by mode of instruction [SDDOE, 2021.06.03].

But hey, that $ 127 million is coming in, and whether it’s through paychecks from DOE’s bean counters, teacher retention bonuses, additional teachers hired for remedial programs or truancy officers. , these dollars will stimulate our economy and prevent South Dakota from paying its own bill. for its public education system. Yeah, big government!



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