Monday, November 10, 2008

The Future of Education in South Dakota…

Now that Election Day has come and gone, we can focus on the future of our state as we await the budget proposal by Governor Rounds early next month.

There has been much buzz recently in newspapers and blogs about education spending… and before we even begin to debate increases and decreases we must first organize our thinking to better enable us in our approach to possible solutions.

We must first define education in South Dakota. What is it for… why does it exist… and are we utilizing the best practices to ensure integrated alignment with the current economic circumstances of our age?

There is no guarantee of education in the Federal Constitution… such a guarantee lies within the constitutions of the individual states. For this we can be proud… but it also bestows on us a solemn obligation as residents of the State of South Dakota to support education and its purposes.

Because this is our obligation, we must ensure we are properly funding the system. Education doesn’t exist just-because. It has a special purpose and can be linked to a more affluent society, reduced crime and poverty, increased creativity, innovation, and an overall better quality of life. Essentially it is an investment, and one South Dakota should seriously consider. The knowledge economy of the future requires individuals to remain on the edge of creativity and “consistent change.”

It is in our best interests to promote learning, creativity, and opportunity to the residents of this state for both children and adults. We should look then at altering our current financing practices so education financing in South Dakota can remain viable into the 21st Century.

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