Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Under Daugaard, SDGOP education in free fall

Under Denny Daugaard and the SDGOP ACT scores in Rapid City are in free fall.
"of the 450 Native American students who took the ACT, only 4 percent met the four benchmarks. That's less than half of the national rate of 9 percent." [KEVN teevee]
And:
Rapid City high school seniors continue to achieve scores above the national average on the ACT college entrance exam, but this year’s scores were below the state average, and the lowest the district has seen in 10 years. [Rapid City Journal]
A Feeding America survey shows 105,880 people in South Dakota are food insecure. Homelessness in the state is rampant; drunk driving, meth use and teen binge drinking are off the charts.

The state is second in addiction to gambling and teachers' salaries are 51st in the nation. Wage slavery is the state's biggest claim to fame and South Dakota dairies are wreaking habitat havoc. Infrastructure is crumbling and the state's bureaucracy is overbearing and unwieldy. Ag groups want federally subsidized crop insurance and the right to pollute. Corruption and graft are commonplace.

Pollution from industrial agriculture has made waterways poisonous, the state has no modern statute addressing financial assurances for pipeline leaks. Trophy fishing for threatened species is a tourist activity. East River, South Dakota is a dead zone and likely a new repository for nuclear waste.

Racism is endemic and white immigrants have been accepted while displacing and disgracing American Indians. South Dakota wrongly puts thousands in nursing homes. Mass incarceration fuels the white foster home industry: a pet project of the governor's wife.

In South Dakota 302 children are confined per 100,000 kids; that's the highest number in the United States according to Pew.

Habitat destruction, lapses in ethics, crime spikes, increased incarceration rates, more people infected with sexually transmitted diseases, the failure of prisons, human trafficking: all mark the terms of Republican governors in South Dakota.

South Dakota is a sanctuary state for white collar crime, though.

So-called 'Americans for Prosperity' a Koch-funded group with a lobbyist based in Sioux Falls signaled to legislators that they will lose campaign funding from the Kochs unless they act to reverse the progress the US Environmental Protection Agency has made in South Dakota.

Ag producers have destroyed shelter belts to plant industrial crops that deplete aquifers and now drought is blowing toxin-laden silt into downwind states.

South Dakota has the worst access to healthy food in the United States.

The crony capitalism that keeps South Dakota the 8th worst state for the working class is destroying lands promised to native peoples by treaty and my home town of Elkton is struggling to find enough housing for migrant workers often living in squalor.

South Dakota isn't about growth; it's about keeping Social Security recipients alive long enough to pay the property taxes that sustain red state failure.

But, earth hater and climate change denier Governor Denny Daugaard had the temerity to travel to the Sicangu Oyate to tell tribal leaders they have better shit to do than restore Pe 'Sla to federal trust status taking it off the tax rolls.
The governor began his presentation by noting how little he knew about tribal politics, history and land issues when he first came into office in 2011, but explained that he had learned about these topics over the past five years from South Dakota Tribal Relations Secretaries. [Daugaard] didn’t mention either of the reasons for appeal noted in the September 2015 document from the S.D. Attorney General’s office while discussing the land transfer before the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council. [Jim Kent]
Meanwhile, climate change denier Republican Governor Denny Daugaard is presiding over an exodus of educators fleeing the failed red state as his cronies plot to prevent medical insurance for South Dakota's least fortunate even as his office touts a budget surplus. He has virtually hand-picked a compliant extremist legislature.

It's only a matter of time before the US Department of Interior, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Environmental Protection Agency come to South Dakota and tell Gov. Daugaard he has better shit to do than tell sovereign tribes how to run their worlds.

Make South Dakota great again. Flush the SDGOP.

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