Gov. Daugaard is waiting for a recently-passed tax raise for teacher pay bill to arrive at his desk. Once he signs it, the average yearly salary for the state's teachers should rise enough to get the state of out of last place nationally.
What many people want to know is just how much will teacher salaries increase and when? For most, it won't be the $8,500 increase advertised by Gov. Daugaard and the bill's supporters.
In the Sioux Falls School District, teachers already make an average of just over $46,000 a year. And how much of a raise they can expect under the new law depends on where they are at on the district's salary scale.
"We'll have some teachers that will make a greater leap than others but generally speaking I think, gosh, you'll probably look at somewhere 7, 8%, somewhere in that range," said Dr. Brian Maher, Sioux Falls School District Superintendent.
In the Brandon Valley School District, Superintendent David Pappone says he expects the district will receive about 10% more funding than usual.
"The early reports are that there will be about $2 million of additional revenue coming in to the district ," said Pappone.
Pappone says this law would require 85% of the new funds to be spent on teacher salary and benefits.
"So here at Brandon Valley, our average teacher salary is about $45,000. If we had to spend 85% of a 10% increase, that would -- I believe -- would get us near $50,000," said Pappone.
Brandon Valley High School teacher Carolyn Ebright says she hopes better teacher pay will get rid of the current stereotype South Dakota teachers currently have.
"I'll see students and I think they'd be a great teacher and say maybe you should be a teacher and they're like well they don't get paid anything, and that's not good. I mean, I feel bad; they look at our profession as something that couldn't support a family later in life," said Ebright.
In a larger district, Dr. Maher says teachers may receive more because cost of living in that area is likely higher. But with the formula Gov. Daugaard came up with, Dr. Maher says fundamentally the funding for each district will be the same saying it will be a tremendous increase in salary for teachers.
"The money will come to us basically from the state of South Dakota, so we would have to make sure that that revenue streams kicked in obviously in order for us to spend that money. So it'll be as soon as that money has kicked in, but we're anticipating that that would be there in September," said Dr. Maher.