Other Views: Take advantage of distance learning to teach children and State ballot laws open doors to 'anything goes' issues
Take advantage of distance learning to teach children The Jan. 5 Wall Street Journal had an article discussing how one Arkansas school district installed wireless Internet access on their school buses and have turned those rides to and from home ...
Take advantage of distance learning to teach children
The Jan. 5 Wall Street Journal had an article discussing how one Arkansas school district installed wireless Internet access on their school buses and have turned those rides to and from home into a "rolling classroom." What a great application of technology, turning the 60-90 minute bus ride into a schoolroom experience -- a chance to add more time for classes or advanced Web-based classes for motivated students.
When one examines the growing 'sparsity' factor in parts of rural South Dakota and the longer bus rides, suddenly, this concept seems to us to be worthy of our Legislature and governor investigating.
What we like best about the idea is that kids are going to be making those long bus rides twice a day, five days a week throughout the school year. Why not take the opportunity to maximize that time by providing the students with an opportunity to do productive school work?
Schools across the country have embraced the concept of distance learning where districts share teachers and offer classes they wouldn't otherwise be able to. Such classes are usually conducted through closed-circuit TV or the Internet. Expanding that concept to include buses and the time spent every day traveling to and from school is simply an extension of that philosophy.
Problems? There will be many as there always are with new and innovative ideas.
The kids are there, the opportunity is there and now is the time to at least look into seeing what it would take -- in terms of technology, materials and money -- to make it possible. It could be one more tool to help better educate our kids and open up new opportunities for them.
Watertown Public Opinion
State ballot laws open doors to 'anything goes' issues
We almost hate to bring up the word because after a long and divisive fight leading up to the 2008 General Election, most South Dakotans (ourselves included) have enjoyed the peace and quiet.
It's back in the news. But this time it's not a news item because there's a challenge to its legality, but rather there's a challenge to how the 2006 abortion battle was partially funded.
The South Dakota Supreme Court said the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court judge who ruled Rep. Roger Hunt didn't violate campaign finance reporting laws in 2006 by creating a corporation to hide the source of a donor's identity erred in her decision. The Supreme Court ruling means the original case will be heard in court.
In 2006, the abortion ban battle was raging in South Dakota. Not surprisingly, when Hunt created the corporation Promising Futures Inc. to accept a $750,000 donation and then transfer the money to anti-abortion group -- tensions flared.
Yet, in apparent defiance of 2006 campaign finance reporting laws which required the identity of the donor, Hunt refused to reveal the donor.
The public has a right to know what individual or organization is funneling a significant amount of money to influence a statewide election.
South Dakota shouldn't be the testing ground for out-of-state special interest groups that can't get legislation passed in their own states.
Even though it's a small state population wise, we're widely conservative and our ballot laws open the door to an almost "anything goes" atmosphere.
Hunt, by creating the corporation to accept the $750,000 and then funnel it to the anti-abortion group, made it clear to South Dakotans their need to know wasn't important.
We don't agree.
State law has been changed since 2006 to put an end to these kinds of shenanigans.
That's irrelevant in this case -- South Dakotans should get the answer they were denied three years ago.
Rapid City Journal