Changes To Opportunity Scholarship On Hold
By Kealey Bultena
House committee members are on hold while they gather more information about the effects of halting changes to the opportunity scholarship.
As lawmakers wrap up week five of the session, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee Dean Wink has decided to wait to vote on the measure.
Starting in 2012, South Dakota’s opportunity scholarship will allow career and technical education options. But a bill before lawmakers repeals that change. Jack Warner with the Board of Regents says adding options adds cost, and the program works now.
"This is a very valuable program. Let’s keep it intact. Let’s not compromise by increasing the fiscal impact during difficult financial times," Warner says.
But that’s not how tech school lobbyist Dick Tieszen sees it.
"It sends a message to the young people that we don’t value you, we don’t believe that you are capable in an equal manner than we treat you if you’re pursuing a BS degree," Tieszen says. "That’s more important than money."
Legislators are waiting for specific information on other ways to avoid using more general funds for the scholarship.
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