S.D. lawmakers to debate teacher pay raises

During the pandemic, a handful of South Dakota school districts have given bonuses to teachers, but advocates say the state needs to live up to its promise to gradually boost educators' salaries each year.

South Dakota lawmakers begin the 2021 session next week. As the budget takes shape, how big a raise public school teachers could receive is expected to get plenty of debate.

Gov. Kristi Noem has proposed a pay hike of 2.4% for kindergarten-through-12th-grade teachers, more than the required 1.5% under state law. Loren Paul, president of the South Dakota Education Association, said the higher amount would be a big help since the state is having a hard time attracting educators.

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