South Dakota group urging voters to vote no on education measure - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota group urging voters to vote no on education measure

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In just 27 days you'll head to the polls not just to pick a President but to also vote on some South Dakota measures and there's one measure that has a local group fired up.

The measure is called Referred Law 16. You'll see it on your ballot in November.

It's an education reform act supported by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. The measure is from Daugaard's education plan.

A television ad was just released by the group "Vote No On 16, it's the wrong answer!"

Ryan Rolfs is part of that group. He's against Referred Law 16 because he says it doesn't focus on students.

"It focuses on a few teachers and it's a testament to the shift away from students in our education system. We need to put the focus back on students on the local level," Rolfs said.

Rolfs wants others to understand what's wrong with the measure.

"I think it makes education in South Dakota look very unattractive to new teachers and it really hurts the kids in South Dakota," Rolfs said.

Here's some background on Referred Law 16 which you'll see on your ballot if you're a South Dakota voter.

There are five parts. First, it would create scholarship programs for eligible college students who commit to teach in South Dakota in certain subject areas. Second, there would be yearly bonuses for eligible math and science teachers. Third, it would provide yearly state-funded merit bonuses. That would be awarded by the school board. Some boards could opt out. Fourth, it would evaluate teachers and principals through a rating system. Fifth, it would eliminate state requirements for continuing contracts or tenure for teachers who do not achieve tenure by July 1, 2016.

Rolfs says he's against the whole measure and feels if it passes teachers won't want to work together.

"Once you take away that collaboration with merit pay you put in competition so teachers are now working against each other not really willing to share their ideas and the students hurt from that," Rolfs said.

The group also plans to pass out flyers and make phone calls urging voters to vote no.

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