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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com November 22, 2016 • Page 3 Blue Ribbon Package Raises The Salary Bar For South Dakota Teachers By Gov. Dennis Daugaard During the 2016 session, the State Legislature passed a package of three bills, based on the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. The purpose of these bills was to direct new funding to school districts to increase teacher salaries. I’m pleased to report that this effort has been a success. A new survey by the state Department of Education indicates that the average teacher salary is $46,924. This represents a one-year increase of 11.9 percent. The Blue Ribbon Task Force was convened to address the serious problem our schools faced when trying to recruit and retain excellent teachers. South Dakota had paid the lowest average teacher salary for decades, but in recent years the gap with our surrounding states had widened. For many teachers, neither the desire to stay close to home, nor South Dakota’s low cost of living, could any longer outweigh the significantly higher salaries offered in neighboring states. The task force’s recommendations addressed the problem head-on, and I again thank the task force members for their work. I also thank the legislators who had the courage to vote for bills that raised the sales tax, that rewrote the school funding formula, and that committed funds to innovation and sharing of services. The Legislature set a “target average salary” of $48,500 for teachers. We knew that we would not reach that average in the first year, because it will take time for schools to become more efficient and repurpose their own from many superintendents that these funds into salaries. I am very pleased raises are having an impact. Fewer that, with an average salary of nearly teachers are departing, fewer vacan$47,000, our schools have made so cies are unfilled, more are applying for much progress toward that goal. open positions and more teachers are Our smaller, rural school districts staying in South Dakota rather than are especially challenged to attract leaving the state. I am confident that, teachers, and so I am particularly over the next year or two, the data we pleased to see very sizable salary collect from school districts will show increases in many small districts. In a persistence in the impact that we are Jones County, the average teacher seeing in the first year of these salary salary increased by 22.4 percent. In increases. Ethan, it increased by 19.7 percent. In Every South Dakotan wants to give Mobridge-Pollock, salaries increased our children a quality education, and we know that the most important 25 percent. Faith increased 18.3 permeans to that end is not buildings cent. Iroquois increased 23.3 percent. Florence increased 19.6 percent. or equipment – it is great teachers. Burke increased 18.8 percent. Oelrichs When the Legislature approved the Blue Ribbon package this year, it sent salaries improved by 20.5 percent. a clear message that South Dakotans Gayville-Volin went up 21.4 percent. were willing to invest in our teachers. And the highest increase in the state, as a percentage, was Waubay with 26.3 I thank our school leaders for joining in that investment by using these percent. funds to dramatically increase teacher Larger schools also enjoyed sizsalaries. able raises, although they had higher salaries to begin with and therefore their percentage increases are generally lower. Most were close to the state average of 11.9 percent, although Brandon Valley achieved *Current in-stock inventory. Does not include shoe repair. an increase of 19.3 percent 312 W. 3rd, Yankton • 665-9092 and Meade County went up 14.7 percent. I have already heard 15% OFF ALL SHOES Boston Shoes to Boots USD Theatre Presents Classic Rock Musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ “Jesus Christ Superstar” is the next production of the University of South Dakota Department of Theatre, presented Nov. 18-20 and Nov. 30-Dec. 4 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. The show, inspired by the Gospels, explores the relationships of Jesus of Nazareth, Mary Magdalene and Judas Iscariot in the final days of Jesus’ life on earth. The TonyAward-nominated score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice features such memorable songs as “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane” and “Superstar.” The show is fast-paced, moving from one scene to the next with nonstop energy and momentum, brought to life by a cast of 30 undergraduate singer/actors. This rock musical has been a favorite of audiences for 45 years, with numerous Broadway productions, cast recordings, a film version, and revivals around the world. “In a world full of cultural and political doubt that has been driven by a decisive and unmotivated election year, where we see the masses following a person instead of an idea, the relevance of Superstar becomes astounding, and Jesus’ message of action over intention becomes even more significant,” said Director Ryan Fortney. For ticket information, call the USD Theatre Box Office at (605) 677-5400 or visit the USD Theatre website. E Have a W S LD Great Day S LD S S LD S S LD S LD S LD S LD S LD LD LD IT IN THE S LASSIFIED C Bring more shoppers to your door with locally focused advertising from the experts. Your Ad Here! MV Shopper In Print and Online! 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