Education

Gov. Kristi Noem, surrounded by National Guard members on March 16, 2023, in Rapid City, signs a bill into law that will increase tuition coverage for members of the South Dakota National Guard to 100%. (Courtesy of the Governor's Office)

New law provides 100% tuition coverage for SD National Guard members

BY: - March 16, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill into law Thursday that will provide 100% tuition benefits for National Guard members at South Dakota technical colleges and public universities. The increase from 50% to 100% coverage will benefit the Guard by providing another incentive for recruitment and retention, Noem said. Noem, whose father served in the National […]

COMMENTARY
Rep. Scott Odenbach, R-Spearfish, on the House floor during the 2023 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Don’t legislate love of country into the lesson plan

BY: - March 13, 2023

After twice missing passage by just one vote, it’s likely that next year South Dakota lawmakers will, once again, have to decide if they want to create a Center for Exceptionalism at Black Hills State University. According to the failed legislation, the center would make curriculum available to K-12 schools that would teach “students to […]

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GOP bill mandating federal Parents Bill of Rights passed by U.S. House committee

BY: - March 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — A national “Parents Bill of Rights” is headed for a full U.S. House vote after the House Committee on Education and the Workforce early Thursday approved the measure designed to empower parents to inspect books and other teaching materials in schools. Lawmakers on the committee debated the GOP-backed bill that would federally mandate […]

The U.S. Capitol building is seen on Oct. 22, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

National ban on transgender athletes in girls’ sports passed by U.S. House panel

BY: - March 9, 2023

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee early Thursday passed a bill on a party-line vote that would block transgender girls from competing in school sports consistent with their gender identity, a reflection of a broader push in multiple states to curb the rights of transgender student athletes. The bill, H.R. 734, introduced […]

A screenshot of the new app that helps people learn the Dakota language.

New Dakota language app helps bridge gap between elders and youth

BY: - March 7, 2023

Khloe Cavanaugh learned some Dakota words from her grandfather growing up on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota. He was one of the few fluent first language speakers on the reservation. “I have an Indian name and I didn’t know how to say it in Dakota, so he taught me how to say it […]

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Biden student debt relief plan met with skepticism from U.S. Supreme Court conservatives

BY: - February 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — The majority conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical Tuesday that the Biden administration had the authority to implement a federal student debt relief program that was estimated to potentially aid millions of borrowers. The conservative justices, who hold a 6-3 majority on the court, questioned whether the Department of Education […]

Rep. Chris Karr, R-Sioux Falls, on the House floor during the 2023 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber, South Dakota Searchlight)

Senate committee kills ‘lewd or lascivious’ drag show bill

BY: - February 28, 2023

A bill that would ban “lewd or lascivious” content at state institutions and public schools died in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday morning. The bill, introduced by Rep. Chris Karr, R-Sioux Falls, previously passed the House with a 60-10 vote. It was amended in a House committee to allow the South Dakota Board of […]

Student loan borrowers gather near The White House to tell President Biden to cancel student debt in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We, The 45 Million)

Black student loan borrowers at risk as U.S. Supreme Court weighs forgiveness plan

BY: - February 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — As the Biden administration prepares to defend its student debt cancellation program before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 28, data shows that Black borrowers have the most to lose should a majority conservative court strike down the policy. Black borrowers hold a disproportionate share of student loan debt, and many likely were […]

South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn greets students inside the American Indian Student Center on campus. Part of the Wokini Initiative's funding went toward the construction of the center. (Courtesy of SDSU)

‘They saw the potential’: SDSU program boosts Native American success

BY: - February 20, 2023

South Dakota State University was the only college that sent recruiters to the reservation during Traelene Fallis’ junior year at Crow Creek Tribal School. So, she only applied to SDSU. “It just felt like they actually wanted me to be here,” Fallis said. “They were doing all these things because they saw the potential in […]

COMMENTARY
(Illustration by Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Lawmakers love ‘local control,’ until they want the power

BY: - February 17, 2023

If you want to get South Dakota lawmakers to talk in hushed, reverent tones, just say these two magic words: local control. Legislators purport to love the fact that local citizens serve on their school boards to decide on budgeting, personnel and a thousand other decisions that go into the care and feeding of a […]

Teenage student Jose Lara studies his daily schoolwork on his laptop at his home in the slum of Catia during the second month of quarantine on April 27, 2020, in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images)

Lack of action by Congress to protect kids online criticized at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - February 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators on Tuesday voiced frustration and outrage that Congress has been unable to pass legislation bolstering protection for children online, including adding guardrails to social media platforms.  During a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats and Republicans pledged to keep working together to pass several bipartisan bills that didn’t make it […]

Officials break ground in September 2022 on the Nucor Mineral Industries Building at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City. (Photo courtesy SD Mines)

Officials blame inflation for state building projects that are millions over budget

BY: - February 13, 2023

Eight building projects already approved by the Legislature need about $30 million in additional funding due to rising costs, state lawmakers were told Monday at the Capitol in Pierre. State officials told the Joint Committee on Appropriations about the challenges of trying to keep project costs under control amid high inflation. One of the projects […]