Alice is a Senior Legislative Affairs Associate for ExcelinEd in Action. In this role, she aids the advancement of student-centered legislation in states across the southeast and midwest regions.
Many states are struggling to find a balance between shrinking revenues and minimizing budget cuts with the least harm to students; a task made harder as the pandemic increases the needs and disparities among students.
South Dakota, however, stands out as a model.
Thanks to strong fiscal management, the state is in a strong financial position to weather the unforeseen costs without cutting funding to essential services like education. Governor Kristi Noem proposed a significant investment in broadband infrastructure to close the digital divide, as well as an increase in state funding for K-12 education to help schools cover additional expenses brought on by the pandemic.
“The most important investment we can make this year is to finish connecting the state to broadband… We must make sure our people can harness the latest technology to take advantage of what has become the modern equivalent of a post road… It tangibly improves the lives of our students by making it possible to do schoolwork at home.”
Governor Kristi Noem
Prioritizing education funding at this critical juncture is essential to minimizing learning loss. There is no time to waste to ensure students have the foundational skills to be successful in school and in life.
A new web-based assessment tool, FundingEducationEquity.org, helps state decision makers to carefully evaluate their budget cutting options, minimize harm to students and maximize the ability of districts to make the best use of available resources.