ROZUM: Education ideas flowing freely at CapitolContrary to what you hear or read, the majority of conversation centers around education in Pierre.
By: State Rep. Tona Rozum, R-Mitchell
Contrary to what you hear or read, the majority of conversation centers around education in Pierre.
The end goal is student achievement, and the current focus is on teachers. A committee composed of three representatives and three senators (Sly, Dryden and Brunner in the House; Peters, Heineman and Johnston in the Senate) form the group receiving ideas, suggestions, opinions and solutions. The ideas have been steadily flowing into the committee: Allow systems to design their own bonus system; bonuses for National Board Certification; school-wide incentive program; tuition reimbursement-style bonus; bonuses for two highest-need areas in a district; end tenure; create some kind of partial tenure/due process; 10,000 upfront bonus paid over five years; revisit Dakota Corps Scholarships; revisit TCAP for compensation.
This gives you a sense of some of the early ideas and may trigger thoughts of your own. Please take this opportunity very seriously and offer your input. If you e-mail me, I will forward any ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org; or, change the last name to the person you wish to contact.
Bills moving from the House to the Senate this last week: Permit a school district, at the discretion of the school district, to pay the fee charged for any criminal background investigation that is required by law for a prospective employee; establish a board to regulate certain emerging complementary health professionals with no current state regulatory board; shorten the time by five weeks, the amount of time candidates filing as independents have to turn in petitions (still allows more time than a candidate filing with either party); authorized the collection of fees for programs such as drivers’ education and preschool (currently being charged but determined to be unlawful); constitutional amendment lengthening term limits to six terms of two years each; place certain substances on the controlled substances schedule (synthetic marijuana is the example).
Applying a point system to speeding advanced from the Transportation Committee to the floor but failed to gain enough support in the House to pass. But remember, points exist for all other offenses. This bill will probably re-surface another year.
For Transportation and Taxation this week, we will continue to clean up the red tape the governor started last year. It is sort of like cleaning your closet. It’s a good feeling. We will have a bill dealing with eminent domain for non-governmental agencies and I anticipate that to be a lively discussion. A bill authorizing any local authority to prohibit on-premise signs in its jurisdiction will most likely garner discussion; this bill is a Rapid City issue that seems to surface each year.
There are at least three bills dealing with sales tax on food, two on the House side, that will be on the docket this week. Both of these are very involved and convoluted so we’ll see how the discussion progresses. A bill in Taxation would assess ag land on the actual use, and that will be a very worthwhile discussion. The bill to change the gross receipts tax for electric co-ops to kilowatt hours will move to the House. We’ll have some questions on the actual revenue projections for school districts on this bill.
This is a five-day week, so by Friday’s session we will have covered most bills on the House side as the day bills have to be in the other chamber’s committee is early the following week. If you have any ideas, solutions or thoughts, please be sure to e-mail or call.
Thank you to all who attended the cracker barrel in Plankinton on Saturday. What a great turnout and these are opportunities to hear from folks in the trenches; it is invaluable information.
Mitchell Technical Institute will host a Cracker Barrel at 10 a.m. Saturday on the south campus. Be there if you can or have ideas and solutions to share.
Tona Rozum, of Mitchell, is a Republican representing Davison and Aurora counties in the state House of Representatives.