Photo of the MIssouri River in Chamberlain South Dakota (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Chamberlain School ordered to pay $100,000 to family of disabled child

BY: - December 1, 2022

A federal judge has ordered the Chamberlain School District to pay nearly $100,000 to the family of a child with disabilities to cover the cost of the child’s special education. The judgment affirms the earlier conclusions of a hearing examiner who had ordered the district to reimburse parents Judith and Michael Steckelberg for the tuition […]

A hallway and secured room doors at the Minnehaha County Juvenile Center in Sioux Falls, as pictured on Oct. 21, 2022.

Juvenile justice reform group reports success, in spite of moves to get tougher on kids

BY: - November 30, 2022

A quick look at the annual report from an oversight council might suggest that the 2015 juvenile justice reform act that created the group has been a smashing success.  The 2015 reforms were meant to keep non-violent offenders out of Department of Corrections (DOC) custody, in the interest of improving outcomes for both kids and […]

A proponent of the new social studies standards offers a statement of support to the state Board of Education on Nov. 21, 2022, in Sioux Falls. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Social studies debate shows concerning shift from standards to curriculum

BY: - November 29, 2022

Educators and parents alike have provided concerning feedback for the Proposed K-12 Social Studies Content Standards. South Dakota is at the midpoint of a statutorily required public comment process with four input sessions being held throughout the state. I testified to the South Dakota Board of Educational Standards in September, and due to time constraints, […]

Photo of White River School District's "Old Main" building, which currently houses middle school students.

White River School District gets $1.5M surprise donation from billionaire philanthropist

BY: - November 22, 2022

A rural western South Dakota school district is one of several across the country to receive a surprise donation from billionaire philanthropist Mackenzie Scott. White River School District got $1.5 million from Scott about a month ago. Scott, who has a 4% stake in Amazon, has donated just under $2 billion over the last seven […]

A proponent of the new social studies standards offers a statement of support to the state Board of Education on Nov. 21, 2022, in Sioux Falls. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Board of Education hears more comments on proposed social studies standards

BY: - November 21, 2022

The public had a second opportunity to speak to the South Dakota Board of Education about proposed changes to the state’s social studies standards on Monday at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The in-person comment session came after nearly 1,000 people submitted written testimony, and dozens of educators braved the cold to protest the document.  […]

Educators at Harrisburg Freedom Elementary School hold signs opposing the revised social studies standards from the South Dakota Board of Education Standards at a walk-in on Nov. 16, 2022. (Courtesy of Harrisburg Freedom Elementary)

Social Studies standards revision meeting draws nearly 900 public comments before deadline

BY: - November 17, 2022

The South Dakota Board of Education Standards will hold its second meeting since revealing the revised social studies standards that drew controversy again this summer.  A day before the official deadline to register or submit public comments, the Board had received nearly 900 comments from teachers, school board members, parents, school administrators and more. The […]

U.S. President Joe Biden hands a pen to Brielle Robinson, daughter of the late Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson, after he signed The PACT Act in the East Room of the White House August 10, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Biden student debt relief plan thrown out by Texas judge; new applications halted

BY: - November 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Late Thursday a federal judge in Texas struck down the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan, ruling that the program is unlawful, in a blow to 16 million student debt borrowers already approved for relief. The U.S. Department of Education now is no longer accepting applications for the program, according to the student […]

Fairgoers at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, SD.

SD State Fair attendance nears pre-pandemic levels

BY: - October 31, 2022

More than 192,000 people attended the South Dakota State Fair in Huron in 2022, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels. The exact attendance figure released Monday by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources was 192,279 guests across the five-day event in early September, with nearly 2,000 campers staying on the fairgrounds. Fairgoers […]

(Getty Images)

Grant aims to grow public health pros in rural and tribal lands

BY: - October 29, 2022

OMAHA, Nebraska — A $1.5 million grant to the University of Nebraska Medical Center will provide free tuition to help beef up the presence of public health practitioners in rural and tribal communities in a multi-state region, including South Dakota. The funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration will go to the Public Health […]

(USDA Photo by Lance Cheung)

$17 million in federal funding headed to Cheyenne River telecom for rural broadband

BY: - October 27, 2022

Hundreds of people on the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock reservations will soon have high-speed internet access thanks to a $17 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant award to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority represents the largest amount offered anywhere in South Dakota through the USDA’s ReConnect Program.  The […]

Students arrive at Patrick Henry Middle School in Sioux Falls on Oct. 25, 2022.

Education report card: South Dakota students above national average, on par with neighbors

BY: - October 25, 2022

South Dakota students have lost ground in math and reading since 2019, according to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), but outperformed students in many other states. The NAEP is billed as the nation’s report card by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. The 2022 report, released Monday, offered […]