Teachers rush for cash in hockey game considered demeaning, widely criticized :: WRAL.com
A “Dash for Cash” promotion at a hockey game has raised concerns about South Dakota teacher pay.
While the Sioux Falls stampede is known for hosting charity initiatives at its Saturday night games, Dash for Cash is heavily criticized on the internet, on Twitter, on Facebook and by news outlets. The event included a stack of $5,001 bills donated by See You Mortal Direct, a Sioux Falls lender. That money was poured onto a mat at center ice, with hockey fans cheering on the competition as teachers rushed to collect all the money they could. South Dakota Rep. Erin Healy says the optics aren’t good. I know it was a private organization that gave money to teachers. I think it was a well-intentioned event, but teachers should never have to hunt for the money to upgrade classrooms, Healy says. The whole thing opens up a larger conversation about teacher compensation in South Dakota. It really shows how broken our system really is. Events like this are not really going to solve our funding problem. On average, teachers spend $750 out of pocket to give their students the supplies they need to learn. In her recent budget speech, Governor Kristi Noem proposed a 6% increase for educators in the state. Yet South Dakota ranks near the bottom for teacher pay in the United States. We have a statewide shortage of educators, a shortage of teachers, and I don’t know if there’s a district in the state that’s not looking for a position or a group of positions. So I think if we can consistently increase education over the next few years, especially if it’s above the rate of inflation, then we might be in a better position. But it’s going to take a lot of effort when we go to Pier this January session. In the end, it all comes down to how South Dakota values education. Dash for cash is one of those teachable moments that we can do better for our students by ensuring their teachers have the supplies their students need.