Education

Kimberlee Browne watches as metal is sheared off the top of a metal block at Lake Area Technical College's precision machining lab in Watertown on Jan. 20, 2023. Through a new training program, Brown earned a certificate in machining while she was incarcerated at the Women's Prison. (J.T. Fey/for South Dakota Searchlight)

From prison to a payroll: Program trains inmates as machinists

BY: - January 27, 2023

Kimberlee Browne thought she’d die on the streets. The 40-year-old mother of six and former educator has been in and out of the South Dakota prison system twice since 2012. Each time she was released, something would happen to make her lose her confidence and faith; she’d fall back into bad habits and be arrested, […]

A teacher draws with students. (Photo by Cavan Images/Getty Images)

Teachers would get $60K minimum salary under bill in Congress making grants to states

BY: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON – A panel of policymakers and educators, including author Dave Eggers and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, gathered at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to promote the American Teacher Act. The bill, if passed, would authorize the federal government to create four-year grants for states to enact and enforce minimum school teacher […]

A person climbs the stairs of the South Dakota Capitol. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Panel backs proposal to require law enforcement to inform schools of suspected criminal activity by students

BY: - January 24, 2023

A Senate panel endorsed a bill that would require law enforcement to inform school officials when a student is suspected of violating the law. Current law says officers “may” report their suspicions to school officials. Opponents and several members of the juvenile justice summer study committee said most school districts already communicate well with law […]

The South Dakota State Capital, pictured on Nov. 2, 2022.

Bill to repeal annual intellectual diversity report by SD colleges passes committee

BY: - January 24, 2023

A bill that would remove a requirement for the South Dakota Board of Regents to produce an annual intellectual diversity report passed the Senate Education Committee 5-2 on Tuesday. Senate Bill 45, introduced by Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, would backtrack a requirement set by the 2019 intellectual diversity law. The 2019 bill also ordered public […]

Inside the state Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

‘Center for American Exceptionalism’ gets first committee endorsement

BY: - January 23, 2023

A House panel endorsed a bill that would create a Center for American Exceptionalism at Black Hills State University on Monday. House Bill 1070, introduced by Rep. Scott Odenbach, R-Spearfish,passed through the House Education Committee on a 9-6 vote and now heads to the House Appropriations Committee. The bill would allocate $150,000 for the center, […]

(Photo by lisapics/Getty Images)

A watchdog says the feds aren’t doing enough to investigate problem colleges

BY: - January 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — Incomplete written guidelines and penalties that had not been updated since 2016.  Significant turnover and reductions among staff.  Changing agency priorities and department probes put “on hold.”  Over the past six years, these problems have stifled the U.S. Department of Education’s investigations team that is supposed to probe colleges that misrepresent themselves to […]

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Proposed child care licensing changes cut required training in half

BY: - January 17, 2023

Child care providers’ annual training requirements would be cut in half, based on proposed changes to child care licensing standards by the state Department of Social Services. Gov. Kristi Noem has made child care one of her leading priorities in her second term, addressing the issue in her State of the State speech earlier this […]

Students at the entrance to the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law. (Photo courtesy of USD)

Bar exam critics move to strike testing requirement for USD law grads

BY: - January 15, 2023

On Wednesday, the state’s top judicial official asked lawmakers to refrain from any changes to the bar admission process while a committee studies it. Within hours, a lawmaker vowed to file a bill that would change the bar exam. Rep. Mary Fitzgerald, R-Spearfish, wants University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law graduates to earn […]

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New federal student loan repayment plan aimed at low-income borrowers

BY: - January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would overhaul a federal student loan income-driven repayment plan, and, if implemented, could help millions of low-income borrowers. However, it’s unclear how the agency would be able to finance the program. Many student debt relief advocates also criticized the proposal for leaving out […]

Adane Redda, Tabitha Mathiang, Kendra Jasso-Chukwuyem, Moses Idris, Aluda Sisto and Nyareik Choul pose for a photo at an Avera Health event. All six are community health workers and community outreach consultants at Avera Health, helping the health care organization reach and communicate with non-English speakers in Sioux Falls. Twelve languages are spoken among the six of them. (Courtesy of Avera Health)

South Dakota’s multilingual population is growing. Advocates say more resources are needed.

BY: - January 7, 2023

Selene Zamorano-Ochoa says her friends and clients can’t simply hop in a car and drive themselves to work or the grocery store like most other South Dakotans. Instead, they use their smartphones to hail ridesharing services. That’s because they can’t speak English well enough to pass the state driver’s license test.  In 2020, the South […]

Joseph Graves. (Courtesy of Milken Family Foundation)

Noem hires Mitchell superintendent as secretary of education

BY: - January 3, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem announced Tuesday that she has appointed Joe Graves as secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education. His appointment will be effective Jan. 10. He succeeds Secretary Tiffany Sanderson, who has accepted a job as president of Lake Area Technical College. “Joe is a wonderful fit to lead our Department of Education […]

The Board of Regents meets Dec. 8, 2022, at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Regents creating ‘minors on campus policy’ in response to drag show controversy

BY: - December 21, 2022

The board governing South Dakota’s six public universities is developing a policy about minors on campus in response to complaints about a drag show. The South Dakota Board of Regents voted Wednesday during a Zoom meeting to have its staff immediately begin creating the policy. The board plans to review the policy during its next […]