Many teachers across the state are breathing a sigh of relief tonight after South Dakota voters turned out to say "No!" to Referred Law 16.
68% of voters rejected Governor Dennis Daugaard's plan to give bonuses to top teachers, phase out tenure and recruit candidates for critical teaching jobs.
The Legislature approved the Republican governor's proposal earlier this year, but the state's main teachers union, the South Dakota Education Association, collected enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot for a public vote.
Daugaard argues the measure will improve student achievement. But opponents contend it could hurt the quality of education because teachers might stop collaborating to help students as they compete for bonus money.
"A good teacher will tell you I'm only a good teacher because of the good teachers around me because they work together and they saw this as a carrot and stick approach where you compete to see who could be the best and it would undermine the collaboration and learning environment of for the students." Said Sandra Waltman, an opponent to Referred Law 16.
The plan would have given annual $5,000 bonuses to the top 20 percent of teachers in each school district and provided scholarships and bonuses to recruit teachers in critical fields. Supporters are hoping the legislature will re-address the issues in the upcoming session.
"It's disappointing because there were some really nice solutions within this law." Said Mitchell Superintendent Joe Graves. "It would help solve some problems with teacher shortages and it would have put $15 Million more into teachers pockets but it's the will of the voters and we'll move on and hopefully address these shortages it in the future."
Opponents to Referred Law 16 captured almost 70% of the votes which shows this was just not the best move for South Dakota to take.
Thursday, April 17 2014 10:13 AM EDT2014-04-17 14:13:31 GMT
Two Sheldon residents are behind bars today. An 11 month long joint investigation between the Sheldon Police Department and the Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office into the 05-14-13 fire which destroyedMore >>
An 11 month long joint investigation between the Sheldon Police Department and the Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office into the 05-14-13 fire which destroyed the Buddz's Sports Bar and Grill in Sheldon, Iowa, has resulted in the arrest of two Sheldon residents on charges of arson.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 9:54 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:54:39 GMT
Sioux falls has seen its second murder of 2014 and again, the victim is a woman in her 50's. It happened in a home on the 5600 block of Misty Glen Place in southwest Sioux Falls. Neighbors were surprisedMore >>
Sioux Falls has seen its second murder of 2014 and again, the victim is a woman in her 50's.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:07:12 GMT
The community of De Smet has been raising funds for a new community wellness and events center for the past year. Last week, the town was till half a million dollars short and many people feared the projectMore >>
People in De Smet came together to raise nearly half a million dollars to complete a new community center. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:01:04 GMT
CUSTER, S.D. (AP) - Visitors will have to pay more to tour the two National Park Service caves in the Black Hills starting April 30. The service on Wednesday announced fee increases for tours at JewelMore >>
Park Superintendent Vidal Davila says the fees fund facility upgrades. He says the increases were discussed at public meetings.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:48:46 GMT
For the past two weeks, many people in Brandon have noticed a not-so-pleasant odor. The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built inMore >>
The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built in the 1980s, but the city's recent growth has made the odor much more noticeable.More >>