Regents hope to avoid loading costs entirely onto students“Students have been paying for inflation on the entire budget for the last 10 years,” said regent Harvey Jewett, of Aberdeen.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — The state Board of Regents decided Wednesday to set higher hopes after years of rejection.
They agreed to ask the Legislature for inflation funding for South Dakota’s public universities in 2013, rather than continue loading most of the cost increases onto students through higher tuition and fees.
“Students have been paying for inflation on the entire budget for the last 10 years,” said regent Harvey Jewett, of Aberdeen.
The regents, who govern the state universities and special schools, plan to request additional aid for maintenance and repairs for buildings and for greater base funding.
They also want to freeze the special fee that students pay to provide additional salary for faculty and shift future salary-enhancement costs to state government.
The dollar amounts will be presented today when the regents take formal action on next year’s budget request.
Two other priorities will be adding eight faculty for the agriculture experiment station at South Dakota State University and hiring coordinators at five campuses to help more college graduates become high school teachers on American Indian reservations.
The ag-experiment researchers would cost about $800,000. They would be expected to find grants to support their work.
“In my meetings with commodity groups, I view this as something they will really support,” said regent Dean Krogman, of Brookings.
The reservation-teacher program would revolve upon a coordinator apiece at the University of South Dakota and at Northern State, Black Hills State, South Dakota State and Dakota State universities.
They would cost a total of about $450,000 for salaries and other expenses. The program also would need about $1.2 million in stipends and scholarships for the teachers.
The concept calls for placing people with bachelor’s degrees into unpaid teaching positions in high schools serving reservation areas, providing those teachers with financial support, and allowing those teachers to complete their education courses while working in the schools.
Black Hills State president Kay Schallenkamp said current efforts to steer teachers from colleges to reservations haven’t been working well enough.
She said people who are from reservation areas but live elsewhere could be willing to return home if they knew they could get solid jobs as teachers.