Educational Support 021210 (audio)
By Eryn Clement
Democrats and Republicans are in agreement that the state needs to continue to provide educational support. South Dakota school districts are seeing a growing number of enrollment. Governor Mike Rounds declared last month that the budget deficit was thirty-two million dollars. The Governor proposed that the legislature shift four million dollars of K-12 funding onto local property tax payers. The legislature disagreed with that proposal so the current budget deficit has increased to nearly forty million dollars. Despite the increased budget deficit, Republican Senator David Knudson says even though the lawmaker's goal is to decrease the budget deficit, education is not the area to decrease funding.
“We’re adding four million dollars by not shifting onto the taxpayer, we’re picking up three million more from additional students…we are going to spend more money on
K-12 education in fiscal year 2011, that’s just the dynamics of a growing population of students,” says Knudson.
Senator Knudson says it will be a challenge to find places to cut spending and hard decisions will have to be made to decrease the budget deficit.
Member stations can download the audio file here.