Representatives Boomgarden, Brunner, Carson, Conzet, Cronin, Dryden, Gosch, Greenfield, Haggar, Hansen, Hickey, Hoffman, Hunt, Jensen, Kirkeby, Kopp, Lust, Magstadt, Miller, Novstrup, Olson, Perry, Rozum, Schaefer, Scott, Sly, Solum, Steele, Turbivile, Vanneman, Venner, Verchio, White, Wick, Willadsen, & Rausch...along with Senators Brown, Fryslie, Gray, Hansen, Haverly, Heineman, Holien, Johnston, Juhnke, Kraus, Krebs, Lederman, Maher, Nelson, Novstrup, Olson, Peters, Rampelberg, Rave, Rhoden, Tieszen, & Vehle...You make me ashamed to be a South Dakota Citizen!
Here's a few questions for the above listed legislators:
1-Who do you work for?
2-What is one of the most important things to remember as a legislator?
3-Do you listen to your constituents?
Granted, some of these above legislators have done some phenomenal things for South Dakota. They have worked on and passed some bills that are really going to be beneficial to the State. But the one thing that all of these legislators have in common is their complete lack of respect for their constituents and their outward show of disregard for the future of our South Dakota educators, and therefore the future of out students.
So, let me continue by answering the previous questions for you...don't forget to check out the LRC website and look up HB 1234, which passed the state house by 1 vote today!
1-You work for the citizens of the state of South Dakota! Don't forget that! These are the same citizens who elected you and can choose to not re-elect you next November. These citizens who voted you into office with trust that you wouldn't let them down! Well guess what, every single one of you has a school within your district and every single one of you has let that school down! You have disappointed the teachers, the faculty, the students within that school district and have left them wondering "What Now?" What is going to happen to my child when the teacher is worried about teaching for tests, not teaching to learn. What is going to happen if my student is the one scoring a lower test score? What happens when the schools can not afford to keep as many teachers around and my child with special needs loses the only person in that building that he or she trusted? What then? What about those teachers who teach classes other than math and science? Are their subjects deemed less important? Not everything in this world revolves around math and science. Think of all the social workers, the psychologists, the artists that this world, and the education systems within it, have created. Are these a science of some sort? Yes, but they are not the "hard sciences" that are taught in our public school systems. They are however just as important.
2-One of the most important things to remember as a legislator, as Senator Angie Buhl stated many times, is to do no harm! What have you done here? Yeah, that's right, a whole lot of harm! It doesn't say "Do no harm except for teachers, students, youth, parents of students, family of students, school administrators..." It it says "Do NO harm!" Weigh your Pros and Cons here. We heard with all the testimony that the Cons far out numbered the Pros in this situation. In the House today, one Representative mentioned that every problem came with a solution. What solution? and What Problem? Nobody has stated a problem with the way the school districts were being run, yet we needed a solution. Don't fix what's not broken! Let the schools recover from the huge loss they met last year from your legislation. Let them breathe before you are all over them about another topic and something else that they have to change within their school system.
3-Do you really listen? I mean honestly listen to what your constituents have to say? Don't lie to yourselves, because we all know the answer! It's clear that you do not! Of the hundreds of e-mails you received, how many of them were supportive of this bill? How many wanted this to change and wanted merit pay for teachers? I bet that's a pretty minute number compared to the number that wanted this bill killed before it even got out of committee. Pay attention to what your constituents have to say! The teachers and administrators that are contacting you are the experts in the field! Swallow your pride and take some advice every once in awhile! Try being humble on for size! It looks good on most people!