In today's education news, it seems that the legislative leaders of the Blue Ribbon Task Force are getting a little irritated by the worries and concerns of those that care about the state of education funding in South Dakota. Deb Soholt is quoted in today's Argus Leader saying:
“Don’t call us stupid,” state Sen. Deb Soholt said Friday, addressing a crowd of hundreds of K-12 leaders from across the state.Okay, how about just slow on the uptake. Maybe the reason that so many people are tired about this issue is because it has been talked about over and over and over for well more than a decade. As educators, we are tired about hearing about the concern of education and how we wish there was more funding, but then see educators called out for being lazy, greedy, and oh, just incompetent by the leaders in Pierre. Finally to be told that gee, golly, we just can't seem to find the money, but we have plenty to put into a rainy day fund!
To be fair to Soholt and Sly, did not avoid the last study and vote against HCR 1002 in 2014 like Ernie Otten and Isaac Latterell (You thought I forgot, didn't you?). Although Representative's Sly's comments printed in the Argus Leader are not helping to give us confidence:
“Their advice to us has been, be bold, be courageous, do something, but we can’t do it alone,” Sly said. “We have to have them also being bold, being courageous.” (Argus Leader Aug. 8, 2015)What the heck does that mean? Are you saying that education officials are the ones sticking their head in the sand and avoiding the problem? They are the ones trying to do the best they can in a situation that gets tougher and tougher.
When you have legislative members jumping into opt-out vote for the second largest school district to convince voters not to provide more funding to help them meet their needs, it is things like this that have many in education getting a little fed up with Pierre. Remember Sen. Soholt, your party has had the strangle on Pierre for a long time now, so whom are we to be upset with? Senator Soholt, I don't think that you are stupid, but I reserve judgement for a large portion of your fellow members in Pierre.
In Related Coverage:
Educators in this state does not have the time to "play nice" as Cory points out at the Dakota Free Press .
And if the Blue Ribbon panel delivers a bad plan, educators can give Soholt, Sly, and the panel an F and fight that plan.
It would be sad if, as Senator Soholt says, we squander the six months ahead of us. But teachers won’t squander that time with their conscientious public statements. Legislators will squander it if they don’t take the teacher shortage seriously and focus on solving that problem.