SD Budget & Policy Institute testifies on education funding & teacher salary trends in South Dakota

On January 22, 2014 SD Budget & Policy Institute shared its research on education funding and teacher salary trends through testimony to the SD Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee.

Testimony highlights included:

  • SD k-12 per student funding (from all sources) is 24% lower than our regional states.  Drilling down into funding sources – federal, state and local—reveals SD has 29% higher average per-student federal funding, 5% lower in per-student local funding and 53% lower per student state funding.
  • SD state-source funding is decreasing relative to our neighboring states, not catching up (was 33% lower 10 years ago, now 53% lower).  Neighboring state student spending represents a higher portion of per-capita income (5.1% whereas SD per-student spending is 4.1% of per capita income).
  •  SD teacher salaries, averaging $39,580 in FY13, remain the lowest in the nation.  In 2013 constant dollars, they are virtually unchanged from 1969 when the average was $39,288.
  • Neighboring state average teacher salaries are between 20% and 46% higher than SD.
  • When adjusted for regional price parity, neighboring state average teacher salaries remain between 16% to 32% higher than SD.
  • Since the implementation of the funding formula in the late 90s, SD teacher salaries have dropped 0.6% while neighboring states have increased by between 3.3% and 24%.
  • If SD teacher salaries had increased at the same percentage as state employee salary policy since FY2000 additional salary funding the average state teacher salary in FY 14 would be $49,189.

To view supporting charts and analysis, see:

Power point presentation accompanying testimony:  Teacher Salaries in South Dakota 1-22-14


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