All South Dakota school districts hit state-mandated teacher pay target

All South Dakota Schools are following the law when it comes to teacher pay.

State law says a district’s average teacher compensation cannot be less than that district’s average from 2017.

The Department of Education’s School Finance Accountability Board met Thursday and accepted the latest report. It was presented by Cody Stoesser, Department of Education Finance Manager. He says all districts exceeded the required amounts.

A number of legislators and others have pointed out that still targeting 2017 salaries needs to be updated. Accountability Board Chair Terry Nebelsick of Huron says that has not been a moving target and it was “a huge expectation that all districts should be beyond that by now.”

The second part of the report deals with cash balances. Districts are limited by law on the percentage of general fund dollars that can be held in reserve. Stoesser says waivers have been granted the past few years because of the influx of federal COVID dollars. He says 14 districts would have a penalty this year if not for the waiver.

The Board will present the report to the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee next week.


December 1, 2023