Teacher pay bill passes South Dakota House Education Committee; Rep. Sauder votes “no”

February 15, 2024

PIERRE, S.D.–A bill requiring public schools to raise teacher pay with no promise of new state funding passed a legislative committee Wednesday in Pierre.

Nobody testified against the legislation, but several lobbyists representing the education community called it a work in progress.

The legislation would set a statewide minimum teacher salary of $45,000, beginning July 1, 2026. That minimum standard would increase each year by a percentage equal to the annual increase in state education funding approved by the Legislature and governor.

The House Education Committee voted 11-2 to send the bill to the House of Representatives.

One of the no votes came from Republican Rep. Stephanie Sauder  (pictured) of Bryant, who’s a former school teacher. Sauder said the legislation would cause some schools to eliminate teaching positions and combine classrooms.

“It just doesn’t iron out the wrinkles that need to be taken care of before we move forward,” she said.