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

Law school should extend recruitment program to bar-exam reform

BY: - August 19, 2023

In a recent report to the State Bar of South Dakota, Knudson School of Law Dean Neil Fulton noted that law school applications “have been dropping nationwide for three consecutive years” and the “recent downward trend in applications is just beginning … we are projected to see a ten-year decline.” To combat the low enrollment […]

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Appeals court: Chamberlain must reimburse family for special education

BY: - August 15, 2023

A three-judge panel on Tuesday affirmed a ruling from a South Dakota judge ordering the Chamberlain School District to pay $100,000 for the out-of-state placement of a child with special needs. The Steckelberg family sued the central South Dakota district over its failure to find “appropriate placement” for their son, who is now grown, near […]

The Hugh Glass monument was originally placed on private ranchland near Lemmon, at the confluence of two forks of the Grand River. But it was later moved to make way for construction of a Bureau of Reclamation dam. (Courtesy of Joseph Weixelman)

Relative of famed author wants to find out what’s inside mysterious South Dakota monument

BY: - August 2, 2023

A lonely monument to the heroics of a frontier mountain man may surrender its secrets after all. That is, if someone can determine who actually owns the monument erected in 1923 to commemorate Hugh Glass, who purportedly crawled, limped and rafted 200 miles after being mauled by a bear and left for dead. This week, […]

Members of the state House of Representatives stand and applaud after a $104 million tax cut bill passed with unanimous support on March 9, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Lawmakers have themselves to blame for SD’s embarrassing teacher pay

BY: - July 30, 2023

Call it deja vu gone bad. A recent meeting of the state’s Teacher Compensation Review Board had to once again deal with the fact that teachers’ salaries in South Dakota are a national embarrassment. At the board meeting, figures were used from the National Education Association which listed the average teacher pay in South Dakota […]

Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State University, moderates a briefing on artificial intelligence for U.S. senators on July 26, 2023. (Courtesy of the Office of Sen. Mike Rounds)

Dakota State president moderates artificial intelligence briefing for senators

BY: - July 27, 2023

Dakota State University President Dr. José-Marie Griffiths moderated a briefing Wednesday on artificial intelligence for members of the U.S. Senate, according to Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota. Griffiths said in a news release, “With so many questions about where AI is heading and how it will change the world, it is important that our leaders […]

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

Regents prioritize tuition freeze, civics & quantum computing in 2025 budget request

BY: - July 19, 2023

The South Dakota Board of Regents will ask Gov. Kristi Noem and the Legislature to freeze public university tuition for a fourth year in a row, the organization decided in a special Zoom meeting Wednesday, in addition to requesting funds for other priorities such as a system-wide center for civic engagement. Noem has been a […]

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South Dakota student debt relief could reach $147 million under new plan

BY: - July 18, 2023

More than 3,000 South Dakotans qualify for a combined $147 million in student debt relief offered by a new Biden administration policy, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The Department of Education and the White House announced last week that more than 800,000 federal student loan borrowers across the country will have their remaining […]

An educator works with students at Cleveland Elementary School. (Courtesy of Sioux Falls School District)

Gap grows between targeted and actual teacher pay

BY: - July 17, 2023

Schools are lagging the state’s target pay for teachers, and the gap is growing, according to data shared with a state board in Pierre. That’s despite the 2016 Legislature’s efforts to address the problem by increasing the state’s sales tax by half a percentage point. This year, the Legislature reduced the state sales tax by […]

An educator works with students at Cleveland Elementary School. (Courtesy of Sioux Falls School District)

International hires & ‘grow your own’ programs: Schools seek solutions to teacher shortage

BY: - July 14, 2023

Oglala Lakota County schools had zero applications for more than 25 open teacher positions earlier this year. Superintendent Connie Kaltenbach said the school district advertised the positions for months locally, across the state and nationally. But there weren’t any bites. So she turned to the international market. Starting this fall, 26 Filipino teachers will likely […]

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More than 800,000 student loan borrowers to have debt forgiven, White House announces

BY: - July 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Department of Education and the White House announced Friday that more than 800,000 federal student loan borrowers will have their remaining debt wiped out. The $39 billion in debt relief will come through fixes to mismanagement of the agency’s income-driven repayment plans. Many long-time borrowers, including those who had been making payments […]

State aims to convert 90 teacher aides into certified educators

BY: - July 10, 2023

About 90 teacher aides from more than 50 school districts have been selected for a program to help them become fully certified teachers. Over a span of two years, the aides will have the opportunity to complete accredited coursework virtually outside of work – ultimately earning a bachelor’s degree. Participants will be responsible for up […]

Shirley Murphy joins Native American elders from across South Dakota who traveled to the Prairie Knights Casino on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to record their memories and the Lakota language for Thunder Valley CDC. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Lakota is critically endangered. Elder retreats preserve, build road maps to revive it.

BY: - July 9, 2023

FORT YATES, North Dakota — Dozens of Native American elders from South Dakota tribal nations gathered in the Prairie Knights Casino on the Standing Rock Reservation earlier this month. Sitting at tables armed with pens and composition notebooks, they wrote about memories from their childhoods and shared their stories orally with each other in Lakota […]