Some districts received compromises on teacher pay

State government’s School Finance Accountability Board members sounded vexed at times last week during hearings on school districts whose officials argued they couldn’t afford to pay teachers as much as the 2016 state law required.

The board recommended Plankinton officials re-open teacher contracts and spend $53,886 more. That was less than half of the approximate penalty of $123,000 the district faced. The vote was 3-2.

Yeses came from Brandon Valley superintendent Jarod Larson, governor’s aide Patrick Weber and Belle Fourche schools business manager Susan Proefrock. Huron superintendent Terry Nebelsick and Mobridge-Pollock school board member Eric Stroeder voted no.

New Underwood saw its potential penalty reduced from $125,000 to $22,000. The recommendation was 4-1, with Nebelsick saying no.

McLaughlin faced a potential penalty of $122,807. The board voted 3-2 to recommend McLaughlin re-open teacher contracts to add $114,729. Nebelsick and Stroeder voted no.

The board meets by teleconference Nov. 27 to affirm its decisions from last week. The recommendations in the 26 appeals made to the board will go to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations for decisions Dec. 4.