Jacqueline Sly: Getting Teachers the Pink Slip

Phil Jensen


Below is a mailer going out this weekend from South Dakota Senator Phil Jensen’s campaign, and it’s a good one.

The front side says: “Jacqueline Sly masterminded the plan to give 400 teachers the pink slip!”

The back side says:

Rick Kriebel 2016


“Jackie Sly pushed the biggest tax increase in state history–for ‘teacher pay.’ Then she led the charge to fire teachers.

” In 2015, Representative Sly pushed the plan ot raise our taxes by over $100 milion, and in 2016 she worked to pass the largest tax hike in state history, supposedly to increase teacher pay.

“Then Sly led the effort to cut funding for teachers statewide. Why raise taxes for teacher pay and then cut teacher funding?

Woodrow Wilcox


“Phil Jensen led the fight to pay teachers more with no new taxes!

“In 2016, Senator Jensen sponsored HB 1130, a plan to offer teachers more pay without raising taxes. Jensen actively opposed new taxes and fought for our teachers to keep their jobs.

“Re-Elect Phil Jensen for State Senate!”

I’m afraid Sly is one of the primary people who deserve the blame for teachers being let go, thanks to this new, supposedly “pro-teacher” legislation. Sly was co-chair of this taxpayer-funded dog and pony show to build “consensus” for what the tax-and-spend liberals running our state government had already decided they wanted to do.

And it’s not like we didn’t know teachers losing their jobs would be the effect of this, going in.

Even back in January, as the 2016 legislative session was just getting under way, Governor Dennis Daugaard admitted as much in an interview with the Argus Leader:

South Dakota has about 400 teachers too many.

That’s according to a formula devised by the governor’s office that aims to tie school funding to student-teacher ratios.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s plan to give every district in the state more money to pay teachers would also encourage some schools to shrink staff over time.

The state would set a target salary and target student-teacher ratio for each school district. Under a “perfect alignment,” the state would have to lose about 400 teachers, Daugaard said in an interview Tuesday with Argus Leader Media.

“We looked at every school district and said here’s your ideal ratio,” Daugaard said. “To get everybody to that ideal ratio, we’d need to have about 400 fewer teachers.”

Every school in the state would receive more money with the half-cent sales tax proposed by Daugaard, a plan that would inject $80 million into South Dakota classrooms. But the plan also calls for a new formula.

Black Hills Knowledge Network also cited a KOTA story stating about 400 teachers would get the pink slip under this brilliant new plan.

Rep. Lance Russell also drew attention to this at the January 30 legislative crackerbarrel meeting in Rapid City, and again at the February 20 crackerbarrel meeting. We can’t say we weren’t warned. We knew what we were in for, if we were paying attention. Russell had an alternative plan, but that wasn’t good enough for the tax-and-spend liberals in our state government who already had their hearts set on this tax increase.

Let me ask you something. What’s better: lower pay, or no pay? Me, I’ll take lower pay over no pay, any day of the week. Not some people, apparently. Some folks seem to figure they won’t get the ax, and are quite content to see their fellows get that ax if the ax enriches them.

And yes, it’s happening. If you’re a teacher who won’t be back at school in the fall, at least you know how to vote this summer.

We should also remember that not all of this tax increase is going to teacher pay–not even remotely close. And even what is loosely aimed at going to education isn’t specifically required to make it into the salaries of teachers.  Knowing how much administrative overhead and waste there is in the education establishment, one has to really wonder how much at all will actually make it to teachers themselves? But hey, when you wrap a tax hike in a blanket of “It’s for the children” or “It’s for the teachers,” then who can be against that?  (Only those mean old conservatives, apparently.)

Sadly, it’s not like this is the first time a bunch of liberals have been dead-set on having their way, claiming to want to help “the little guy” or some other favored group, only to have reality demonstrate that their ideas end up hurting the people they claim they want to help.  They do it every time they push for things like minimum wage increases…that end up costing people their jobs and preventing others from getting a start in the job market.

Somehow, there’s never any “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” that follows this endless parade of liberal goofs that ends up leaving people out in the cold. We’re supposed to just forget about it under the umbrella of “We meant well”…and believe them the next time they come up with an idea that is demonstrably unsound.

If you’re one of those 400 teachers whose career is now over, you know who to blame. If you’re the friend, family or loved one of one of these 400 out-of-work teachers, you know who to thank.

Let’s stop buying it, folks. And let’s put out to pasture these liberal snake oil salesmen like Jacqueline Sly. We have too many of them from the Democrat Party, and we darned sure don’t need them in the Republican Party.





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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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