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LETTER: Yes on R to clean up Constitution

To the Editor:

If you have not looked at a ballot for this election, you will find many issues to vote on. The very first issue should be Amendment R and a very easy decision.

The last change to the postsecondary portion of the State Constitution was in 1944 — 21 years before the existence of not only the Mitchell Technical Institute but also the other three. These four institutes evolved from "VoTechs" that started by furnishing basic skills training as a follow up to high school shop classes. Today they are accredited technical colleges that provide the sophisticated education and training needed by the skilled craft workers that are the backbone of our construction, manufacturing, energy and healthcare industries.

If you approve Amendment R you will acknowledge that the institutes have a separate place in the education of young people here in South Dakota. It provides the foundation for their direct participation in the skilled workforce decision making at the State level. More importantly, it is a long overdue realization that we can only solve the skilled workforce shortages in South Dakota by recognizing the importance of these educational institutions that provide strong opportunities for workers right here in South Dakota. We will also give the technical institutes what they have earned after 46 years of existence.

Join me in voting "yes" on Amendment R on Nov.r 8.

Terry Sabers