Daugaard’s homework

Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard held a press conference Tuesday morning to unveil his plan for South Dakota education.

Bob Mercer, a veteran in covering South Dakota politics, filed a story about the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s plan.

According to the story, Daugaard’s “top priority for education is to place more emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in South Dakota’s public schools, state universities and public technical institutes, as a cornerstone for building South Dakota’s economy.

“The Republican candidate for governor also called for eliminating the state law that requires a school district must have at least 100 students to continue qualifying for state aid, and for changing state laws that restrict the amounts of funds which school districts can maintain in reserves.

“Daugaard said he would lead a conversation statewide about finding ways to help school districts deal with their needs for buildings so they aren’t constrained by their abilities to raise funding locally.

“He said he would like to see capital funding be available more equitably, similar in concept to the per-pupil funding formula used for general education support in the K-12 districts, where local ability to raise money is supplemented as necessary by state aid.

“Some school districts have the financial ability from their local tax base to build first-class facilities while other districts have been forced to hold classes in mobile trailers, according to Daugaard.

“’I don’t know the answer yet, but I do know that we need to find a way to address these disparities,” he said.”

See more in Wednesday’s Daily Republic.

State Sen. Scott Heidepriem, the Democratic candidate for governor, will hold a press conference in Sioux Falls Wednesday morning to discuss his thoughts on education.

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