Then Dennis Daugaard opened his mouth and pulled me back into the fray. If there was ever any doubt about how Dennis Daugaard views educators and about how ignorant Dennis Daugaard is when it comes to the field of education, he has slammed shut the door on those uncertainties. In an interview with the Argus Leader, Daugaard is quoted:
In an interview last week with 100 Eyes Daugaard said: "You can't say that you won't obtain quality without high compensation. I was just at O'Gorman (High School). The teachers at O'Gorman are paid, as a group, less than the Sioux Falls School District. Their students achieve better."Daugaard was always a supporter of the private school system in Dell Raipids. Most of his children went through the private school until of course it could not offer something that a child wanted and then he turned to the public system. I have no qualms with private schools. I taught at a private school in my first year of teaching. The ignorance that Daugaard shows is that he thinks that the population at a private school like O'Gorman is the same as the population at Sioux Falls Washington.
At the private school that I taught many years ago, there was no special education department. We didn't have IEPs. Students whose needs that could not be met went to the public school in the town. These students came from mostly stable homes. The majority of them would be considered middle class families or high income families. The overwhelming majority of the students were Caucasian. That could not be said for the public school in Storm Lake, Iowa. It is ridiculous to even think that the challenges faced by teachers in that school were the same as the ones I faced in the private school.
He then goes to the same old drivel of how it is not the state that sets teacher pay, it is the schools that set it.
"The state doesn't control teacher pay," Daugaard said. "To point the finger at the state and say you are the problem here, it just, it's not accurate. If (school districts) want to spend more money for teacher pay, that's what they can do."I AM SO SICK OF THIS LINE OF CRAP! I appreciate my school board. They are very frugal with the money that they have available to control. When you only give school districts a certain amount of money, that money must be set aside to pay for all of the normal operating expenses. When districts get some additional money, guess what the vast majority do with it: Give it to teachers as a means to increase salaries. Daugaard controls what teachers get paid and clearly thinks that teacher gets far too much money right now.
Daugaard will win next week. This is true. What else is going to be true is that Daugaard will do everything in his power to humiliate and belittle the education field. We must turn our focus not on Daugaard who will have no one to answer to except the business elite that control him, but instead on the Senators and Representatives that must at least answer to the people every two years.
I think the feeling is best summed up by teacher and parent of an O'Gorman student, Travis Dahle, who posted on Facebook:
Dennis Daugaard - you owe an apology to every single teacher and student in this state. I may have disagreed with some of your policies, but I at least respected you in the past. That ship has sailed. If ANY educator thinks that this person should be re-elected, then you should leave the profession now.Daugaard is an enemy of public education. He has never, ever shown any respect for education. When you wonder why some districts are struggling to fill positions, the management of the state by Daugaard is the key reason. Daugaard may win, but he should get zero percent of the education vote: ZERO!