War on Teachers
Governor Dennis Daugaard says South Dakota needs to invest in teachers to build a skilled workforce. It was part of his annual State of the State Address. He says the goals are to increase student achievement and attract great teachers. The proposal gives teachers a five thousand dollar bonus based on student performance. The governor says it's the largest investment in teaching in South Dakota history. However, some Democrats call the proposal a direct attack on educators. Representative Elaine Elliott of Aberdeen says the bonus plan increases competition and hurts teacher collaboration.
"If I'm a teacher in the classroom and I have this wonderful idea and it would be just great for the kids, I'm not going to share it. Why would I share it with the teacher next door if I'm in competition for that 20 percent of the money? You're going to have teachers closing their doors and not sharing ideas with anybody, and that's what other states have found," says Representative Elliott.
The governor's proposal also measures learning through test scores and classroom evaluation. Representative Elliott says she agrees with that aspect of the governor's initiative.
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