Public education in South Dakota
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Transparency
- 10 Studies and reports
- 11 School districts
- 12 Education ballot measures
- 13 Recent news
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
List of school districts in South Dakota
Public education in South Dakota
School board elections portal
|“||The South Dakota Department of Education is dedicated to enhancing learning through leadership and service.||”|
The state's chief education official is the Secretary of Education. The Secretary of Education is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the governor, with the advice and consent of the state senate. The current officeholder is Melody Schopp.
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The South Dakota State Board of Education adopted the standards on November 29, 2010. Full implementation is scheduled to be achieved in the 2014-2015 academic year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
- See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how South Dakota compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in South Dakota as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic information for South Dakota's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students||124||0.10%||0.42%|
|Two or more||2,176||1.70%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in South Dakota attend rural schools. Approximately 74 percent of the state's students attend rural or town schools, compared to approximately 26 percent who attend city or suburban schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota), South Dakota has the smallest share of fourth grade students who scored at or above proficient in both math and reading.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for South Dakota was lower than the national average at 2.6 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 3.1 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in South Dakota
School choice options in South Dakota include: inter-district and intra-district open enrollment policies and online learning programs. In addition, about 8.68 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: South Dakota state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 14.3 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 2.40 percentage points, or 14.4 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 16.7 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in South Dakota totaled approximately $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for South Dakota and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Source: National Center for Education Statistics|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in South Dakota totaled approximately $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for South Dakota and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in South Dakota, the average salary decreased by 0.4 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. South Dakota ranked 34th overall, or "weak," which was in the fourth of five tiers.
The main union related to the South Dakota school system is the South Dakota Education Association (SDEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). SDEA is the largest education association in the state. For the 2003 tax period SDEA had: $2.31 million in total revenue, $2.10 million in total expenses and $655,432 in total assets.
- See also: South Dakota government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Associated School Boards of South Dakota.
Open.SD.gov is South Dakota's transparency website. Information pertaining to contracts, revenues, expenditures, and more is accessible here.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
South Dakota received a score of 79.6, or a B- average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. Aside from the "chance for success" category, the state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 73.0, or a C average. The lowest score was in "the teaching profession" at 60.8, or a D- average. South Dakota had the lowest score for the "K-12 education" category when compared to neighboring states. The chart below displays the scores of South Dakota and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|South Dakota||79.6 (B-)||63.2 (D)||73.0 (C)||60.8 (D-)||68.2 (D+)||64.3 (D)|
|Montana||76.3 (C)||69.7 (C-)||76.3 (C)||69.4 (D+)||73.0 (C)||60.7 (D-)|
|Nebraska||83.1 (B)||67.0 (D+)||67.6 (D+)||69.8 (C-)||77.0 (C+)||64.3 (D)|
|North Dakota||86.9 (B+)||68.2 (D+)||85.4 (B)||66.6 (D+)||76.8 (C+)||78.6 (C+)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
- See also: School board elections portal
South Dakota contains multiple types of school districts. A public school district offers K-12 courses for students in a single city or county. Cooperative districts are typically multiple small districts combined into a single governing body to serve rural communities.
- See also: List of school districts in South Dakota
|Enrollment, 2011-2012||ACT scores, 2013|
|1.) Sioux Falls School District||1.) Parkston School District|
|2.) Rapid City Area School District||2.) Brookings School District|
|3.) Aberdeen School District||3.) Milbank School District|
|4.) Watertown School District||4.) Brandon Valley School District|
|5.) Brandon Valley School District||5.) Pierre School District|
|6.) Brookings School District||6.) Canton School District|
|7.) Yankton School District||7.) Freeman School District|
|8.) Harrisburg School District||8.) Vermillion School District|
|9.) Douglas School District||9.) Warner School District|
|10.) Mitchell School District||10.) West Central School District|
School board composition
South Dakota school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to fill vacancies until the next election for the seat is held. South Dakota school board elections typically follow one of these two methods:
- At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
- Trustee area at-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, but candidates must reside in specific geographic areas within the school district.
School boards can consist of five, seven or nine members. Board members serve three-year terms with elections held each year at a time determined by local election officials.
South Dakota does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.
A total of two South Dakota school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections for five seats in 2015. The first election was April 14, 2015, and the second will be June 2, 2015.
Here are several quick facts about South Dakota's school board elections in 2015:
- The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Sioux Falls School District with 23,227 K-12 students.
- The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Rapid City Area School District with 14,000 K-12 students.
- Rapid City Area School District has the most seats on the ballot in 2015 with three seats up for election.
- Sioux Falls School District has the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with two seats up for election.
The districts listed below served 37,227 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.
|2015 South Dakota School Board Elections|
|District||Date||Seats up for election||Total board seats||Student enrollment|
|Sioux Falls School District||4/14/2015||2||5||23,227|
|Rapid City Area School District||6/2/2015||3||7||14,000|
Path to the ballot
To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in South Dakota, a person must be:
- 18 years of age or older
- A resident of the school district at the time of the election
- An eligible voter of the district
Candidates must file nominating petitions with signatures from at least 20 voters in the district to the district's business office. The filing deadline for a school board election is at least 39 days prior to the election.
State law requires candidates to file itemized accounts of campaign contributions to the South Dakota Secretary of State if contributions exceed $100. A candidate has to report contributions under $100 but does not need to provide an itemized list of contributions.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked the following statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- South Dakota Abolish Regents' Board of Trustees (1896)
- South Dakota Appointment of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Amendment E (1968)
- South Dakota Definition of First Day of School, Initiative 3 (2006)
- South Dakota Education Franchise Tax Amendment (2016)
- South Dakota Educational Fund Investments (1950)
- South Dakota Educational Fund Investments (1952)
- South Dakota Educational Fund Loans (1944)
- South Dakota Educational Funds, Amendment C (1994)
- South Dakota Educational and Charitable Institutions (1944)
- South Dakota Fines and Interest Rates on School Land Sales, Amendment B (1982)
- South Dakota Governing Technical Education Institutes Amendment (2016)
- South Dakota Healthcare and Education Trust Funds, Amendment B (April 2001)
- South Dakota Investment of Education Funds, Amendment A (1996)
- South Dakota Investment of School Funds, Amendment E (2000)
- South Dakota Investment of School Funds, Amendment G (1998)
- South Dakota Investment of School Funds by Counties (1900)
- South Dakota Investment of School Money (1904)
- South Dakota Kids and Teachers First Transparency Act (2008)
- South Dakota Loan of Nonsectarian Textbooks, Amendment C (1986)
- South Dakota Lower Interest Rate on School Funds (1902)
- South Dakota Northern Normal School Course of Study (1914)
- South Dakota Reinvestment of School Funds, Amendment D (1968)
- South Dakota School After Labor Day, Initiative 2 (1984)
- South Dakota School District Debt Limit (1954)
- South Dakota School District Indebtedness (1950)
- South Dakota School District Reorganization, Referendum 2(1968)
- South Dakota School Lands, Amendment H (1970)
- South Dakota School Services for all Children, Amendment B (2004)
- South Dakota State University Relocation (1922)
- South Dakota Teachers' Colleges (1932)
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "South Dakota + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- South Dakota state budget and finances
- South Dakota Department of Education
- List of school districts in South Dakota
- South Dakota
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- South Dakota Department of Education, "About the Department," accessed June 4, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- South Dakota Department of Education, "Staff Directory - Office of the Secretary," accessed June 4, 2014
- South Dakota Constitution, "Article IV, Section 9," accessed June 4, 2014
- South Dakota Department of Education, "South Dakota Board of Education Policy," accessed June 4, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed June 12, 2014
- South Dakota Department of Education, "Common Core State Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "South Dakota," accessed December 1, 2009
- Center for Union Facts, "South Dakota Education Association," accessed December 1, 2009
- Open SD, "Welcome to OPEN SD," accessed June 4, 2014
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- South Dakota Department of Education, "Educational Directory," accessed July 10, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
- South Dakota Department of Education, "ACT Test Results 2013," accessed July 11, 2014
- Associated School Boards of South Dakota, "So, You Want to Become a School Board Member," accessed July 9, 2014
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance FAQs," accessed July 9, 2014
State of South Dakota
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Secretary of Education | Director of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |