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LETTER: Teacher pay increase only helps some

To the Editor: This is a personal letter to the editor. It does not reflect the school district, nor is the school district responsible for its accuracy. Last week the Department of Education made public the results of the new law promoted by our...

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To the Editor:

This is a personal letter to the editor. It does not reflect the school district, nor is the school district responsible for its accuracy.

Last week the Department of Education made public the results of the new law promoted by our governor and enacted by our legislators to create a half-cent sales tax to raise teacher pay. While it was perfectly fine with all involved that the tax be paid by all, they have created a formula for dispersing that money.

I believe that all taxpayers in every small school district in South Dakota should know what they have done. Through this formula, Bon Homme (and other small districts) will receive only a small portion of the money (Bon Homme's share is $76,875 to be paid to all staff and includes insurance and other benefits) while larger districts (Harrisburg is the biggest winner at $1,739,276) receive the lion's share.

Though the governor's office has proclaimed that his intent is to increase teacher pay, apparently he meant only some teachers' pay.

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I am retiring this year after 41 years in the profession, 29 of them in South Dakota. I believe that our public needs to know that when they pay the additional half-cent on each dollar, they are guaranteeing that new teacher recruits will be looking for jobs elsewhere where they will get more pay than here.

Joyce Bittner

Tyndall

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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