LETTER: IM 15 a ‘reasonable plan’ to generate needed fundsI have seen the impact that ongoing budget cuts are having on children across the state. Last year alone, schools had to eliminate over 200 classroom staff across the state.
By: Bev Banks, Associated School Boards of South Dakota
To the Editor:
South Dakotans value education and recognize a great investment when they see one. As president of the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, I have seen the impact that ongoing budget cuts are having on children across the state. Last year alone, schools had to eliminate over 200 classroom staff across the state. Fewer teachers and support staff mean larger class sizes and less time one-on-one with students. Fortunately, this November we can reverse the cuts to our kids by passing Initiated Measure 15.
Initiated Measure 15 is a reasonable plan that will generate $180 million through a one-penny sales tax, to be split evenly between K-12 public education and Medicaid.
For just one penny, we can provide a quality education for our children and ensure basic, necessary care for our children, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
Initiated Measure 15 is written to ensure accountability throughout the entire process so our children benefit from the investment in education. Unlike video lottery, revenue generated through the measure can never enter the general fund and can never be used for anything other than K-12 public education or Medicaid. In the case of education, the revenue enters into a sub fund and must be disbursed quarterly back to local school districts on a per-student basis.
Initiated Measure 15 protects local control and guarantees that local school districts decide how best to put the revenue to use. The measure recognizes that, just as each child has unique learning needs, each school district is unique. Voting yes on Measure 15 gives school districts the flexibility they need to deliver quality education to our kids. Initiated Measure 15 is an opportunity for all South Dakotans to have a direct voice in the future of our state. South Dakota has long supported the right of voters to make their voices heard. Your vote is powerful and I ask you to stand up and support Initiated Measure 15 and restore education funding for our kids.
Bev Banks is the president of the Associated School Boards of South Dakota.