Legislative coffee discussion focuses on education

Published: Feb. 22, 2020 at 6:18 PM CST
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The second Legislative Coffee of the year took place Saturday in Sioux Falls.

Senators and Representatives from Districts across the Sioux Falls area shared their thoughts on current bills in Pierre.

Many people from all around the Sioux Falls area showed up to Southeast Tech Saturday, to hear from state legislators about where they stand on bills in Pierre right now. Many topics were discussed, but one topic was covered more than any other, and that’s education.

Representative Manny Steele said, “Our total future is on our education.”

District 12 Representative Manny Steele is on the House Education Committee, a committee he asked to be on during this legislative session.

Steele said, “What we teach our children is what’s going to be when they get your age and my age. That's what we’re going to have, and if we don’t teach them in the upbringing that they need and the education they need, we are going to be lacking as a state.”

Six legislators from districts 9, 11, 12, 13, and 16 spent their Saturday morning sharing their opinions about education in South Dakota.

District 13 Representative Kelly Sullivan said, “There is so much data and so many studies that have shown that when you educate your kids properly and well and start early, that they are going to be more successful adults. Which means they are going to be contributing to our economy.”

One of the biggest concerns with education in South Dakota right now, is the budget.

District 11 Senator Jim Stalzer said, “The fact that we spend half of our budget on education indicates it’s huge. We just have a lot of needs.”

Steele added, “We will balance the budget, so you have to try and work in between that to try and meet what we should be paying our teachers but still, the constitution is number one.”

Education was mainly discussed Saturday morning and invoked plenty of questions from visitors.

"So, it is a great response from both the teachers who are here because they’re concerned about the kids. The parents that are here are concerned about the kids, and the legislators that are here are concerned about the kids. So, that’s the center of what we should be doing,” said Steele.

If you missed today’s legislative coffee there is still time to let your voice be hear. There is one more next weekend on Saturday, February 29th and those topics will vary on what happens this week in Pierre.