Referred Law 16 is The Wrong Answer
South Dakota’s School Children
Referred Law is the troubled South Dakota House Bill 1234, passed by the Legislature, but referred to the ballot this November because concerned teachers, principals, superintendents and parents believe that the law will not be good for South Dakota’s public school children. It calls politicians to account for a law they enacted under the guise of "education reform" that gives them control over our children's education.
From Sioux Falls to Buffalo, RL16
“...mandates a uniform statewide system…”*
– SD Attorney General Marty Jackley
Every school district – every child – is different. On the November ballot touted as “education reform”, Referred Law 16 imposes a uniform statewide system* on South Dakota school districts, big and small, rural and urban. Our teachers, administrators and local school boards know better what works in our classrooms. Referred Law 16 is a one-size-fits-all political football that won’t help our children.
RL16 shifts control of education to Pierre
RL 16 Means...(click for more)
Referred Law 16 is a significant expansion of state government resulting in standardization of programs, shifting control over our children’s education from our local school boards and administrators to Pierre. Under state control, 6 new boards, councils, or “work groups” will be created involving 93 people plus staff.
These government bodies will invent standards, evaluation forms and tests to give the state oversight over K-12 education. Voters don’t know what RL16 will actually do. It merely creates committees and empowers them to impose standards.
Although RL16 does allow some flexibility, all plans must be approved by the state. Standards may apply to all districts – from Buffalo to Sioux Falls – regardless of character, diversity, or local needs.
The word appears nowhere in SD’s laws. Proven teachers merely have “continuing contract” unless there is a problem. They can be fired like any underperforming employee. RL16, however, states that any teacher can be fired, and their employer “is not required to give a reason.”
No employer in any field should be enabled by law to fire an employee without at least giving them a reason.
Many studies show no correlation between merit pay and student achievement. Merit pay works for physical tasks, but in cognitive work it leads to poorer performance. Merit pay for teachers simply doesn’t work.
Properly funded, critical needs like math and science would self-correct as the marketplace operates freely without artificial stimulus.
SD students’ ACT® and SAT® scores are well above national average. Eighth in the nation, in fact. RL 16’s drastic changes are not needed, and will lead to consequences not in our children’s best interests. Ranked 50th in U.S. teacher pay, we merely need state government to properly fund education.