Daugaard Education Cuts
By Gary Ellenbolt
One of the more controversial aspects of Governor Daugaard's proposed budget concerns funding of education. South Dakota schools are already among the least-funded in the nation-and Wednesday, Daugaard proposed the same budget cut of at least 10 percent that other aspects of government are being asked for. Daugaard says some have expressed concern that reducing public school budgets could increase property taxes.
"In fact, just the opposite is true," Daugaard says. "The proposal in my budget of 10 percent actually means that property taxes will decrease for the next two years. If schools can make their case that they'd rather raise property taxes, or maintain them-than streamline their options like state government is doing, they have that option. I am a big believer in local control, and this proposal allows that option to work, on a school by school basis. I want to be very clear here; this proposal reduces property taxes."
Property taxes are the main funding source for schools in the state. Daugaard says he encourages districts to look for ways to make themselves more efficient before asking property owners for more tax money.
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