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South Dakota Mulling Sales Tax Increase to Boost Teacher Salaries

South Dakota is dead last in teacher salaries in the U.S. and various solutions are being proposed to change that.

One possible solution that was suggested by several educator groups in September is a sales tax increase, according to a recent Argus Leader article.

Under the terms of the proposal, state sales tax would increase by a penny in June, July and August. Money from the tax hike would go into a special fund reserved for school districts.

The one-cent sales tax hike would bring in about $40 million, according to estimates. But even the people who came up with the idea are less than certain about how much support there is among lawmakers. Rob Monson, executive director of the School Administrators of South Dakota, said the plan would probably do better among voters.

The measure may also be proposed as a ballot initiative rather than a bill. Opponents of the bill say that school districts determine salary so the state decision may have little effect on future salaries. Additionally, a teacher shortage in the state could hinge on a large number of retirees.

Read the full story and comment below. If you’re a South Dakota teacher, we’d like to hear from you.

Corrie Kerr, Editor, Education World

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