Someone is finally mentioning something about Initiated Measure 3. The 'save our cheap student labor' act

In the Rapid City Journal, there's an article this morning over Initiated Measure 3. It terms itse'f the "Save our South Dakota Summers" act. Funny, I've always called the 'save our cheap student labor' act:

A ballot measure that would prevent South Dakota’s fall school term from creeping into the summer months has drawn strong support from South Dakota’s tourism industry but remains opposed by education groups such as the South Dakota Education Association and the Associated School Boards of South Dakota.


The measure would also allow more time for summer vacations, help students and teachers alike avoid super-heated classrooms and likely boost South Dakota’s retail economy, according to the “Save Our South Dakota Summers” initiative committee.


Those who oppose the measure say it would put students and teachers at an educational disadvantage by hindering teachers’ attempts to continue their own education during the summer and abandoning the students-first approach to aligning the school calendar.

According to Brian Aust, director of communications for the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, the required number of school days would remain at about 175, pushing the end-of-school date further into the spring and summer months.

“In states where this kind of measure has passed, it has adversely affected the way teachers get continued learning,” he said.

Read it all here. For a measure which messes with schools, this one is floating under the radar.

Sorry, cynical me thinks it has less to do with classrooms that get a bit warm, and more to do with tourism interests who want to keep their inexpensive labor force in plance for an extra few weeks as they try to wring every dollar they can from the visitor industry.

Silly businesses. why don't you JUST PLAN FOR IT like every other business plans for known changes. I think this referred measure is at best silly, and at it's worst, exploitive of their student labor force.


Anonymous said…
South Dakota tried this earlier. What really killed that first attempt at hanging onto cheap labor was...the fact that football games were being scheduled before the first day of classes. The superintendents did not like that one bit.
Anonymous said…
This isn't so much about cheap labor, as many of the Black Hills schools don't start until after Sept. 1 anyway. The industry likes to point to labor issues, but they've already tackled that issue.

What this is really about is the fact that the tourism industry wants to get people from rural SD to spend one more weekend in RC or even SF and leave their money in those communities.

This should be a local decision. And many of the tourism districts have already moved their school start date... now they want the rest of us to do the same. Bad idea.
Anonymous said…
8:51, You're kidding, right? South Dakota's tourism economy isn't THAT hand-to-mouth that it needs to hold back school another week just to get the many Hofers from Freeman to take a Black Hills weekend.

I live in the Denver area. I continually see billboards on major streets asking folks to take the 6-hour drive northeast to the Black Hills. I also see quite a few commericials on local cable hawking weekend trip packages to Deadwood. My understanding is that a lot of folks here are taking advantage of those plans, apparently sick-and-tired of the crowded drive to Vail and Aspen on most weekends.

BTW, most Colorado schools start at least two weeks before Labor Day. Leave the dates alone.
Anonymous said…
Up here is the northwest part of the state school starts before Labor Day because of Northwest Area Schools. NWAS has vocational programs that are based out of trailer houses. These trailers are moved during the Christmas break because it takes about a week to a week and a half to get all eight of the trailers moved to their new location for the next semester. In order for this move to take place during the Christmas break, school has to start before Labor Day in order to get all of the school days in before semester can end. NWAS has a trailer at each of the following schools - Dupree, Isabel, Timber Lake, Mobridge, McLaughlin, McIntosh, Buffalo, and Faith.
Anonymous said…
It has been a negative on the State Fair and youth participation in 4-H. Some schools consider this unexcused, thus students can recieve 0's for the time missed. 4-H is more than showing animals it teaches leadership.
This is just an example of past comments on school start dates.
Anonymous said…

"I think this referred measure is at best silly, and at it's worst, exploitive of their student labor force."

This amendment is definitely silly, but your assertion that giving students the option to work a few more weeks would be "exploitive" is equally ridiculous.
Anonymous said…
This issue doesn’t just impact the tourism businesses in the Black Hills or other destinations in our state. It affects every community, large and small. The tax base that is derived from that purchasing power and labor availability is what supports our communities.

There is no question that part-time employees make up a much larger portion of the workforce than it used to. This makes them even more vital to the success of businesses. Many businesses couldn’t make it without young workers, who in turn are able to learn many valuable business experiences before heading off into the career world. Good students make good employees, which is echoed by many small businesses around our state. When businesses loose their young employees at the end of summer, the remaining workforce is stretched thin and results in higher labor costs in order to fill the void.

From a sales perspective it’s a very significant economic issue. One school district in western South Dakota started on the day after Labor Day for the first time since 1997. According to a retailer in that community, impact for the month was as predicted a much stronger finish to the “selling” season. In particular, the Saturday and Sunday proceeding Labor Day. In this business for example, the later start date impacts the Back to School shopping season approximately 10-12%. That’s real money and in most retail businesses impacts the bottom-line, which by the way is how retailers are able to provide jobs to the young people.

Spend a little time visiting with non-tourism businesses and ask how the school start date impacts their business and labor supply. Initiated measure #3 is a good compromise that makes business and education partners, not adversaries.
Anonymous said…
Just a minute. What's wrong with adjusting the school calender for those paying taxes? I mean does the extra summer vacation on one end really change the ability of students to learn or teachers to teach? Of course not! So give us a break and vote yes on 3. If for no other reason than it has nothing to do with abortion or gay marriage!
Anonymous said…
Even if school would start after Labor day when would footbal start maybe Aug1st 1st. It wasn't that long ago when there would be the 1st football game of the year before school even started. Maybe we should have year around school.
Anonymous said…
Shawn Lyons said - "It effects every community, large or small"

You bet it does - that's why they have the power to vote on this themselves. They go through the school board, and if they are upset at what the school board does, they can refer it to a vote.

It makes absolutely NO sense to make this a statewide law UNLESS they are trying to spur instate traveling. Otherwise, why would Edgemont have to do it? To provide seasonal workers to who?

Then anon says something stupid about changing it for the taxpayers. That's ridiculous.

Lets get this straight. Each community, at any time, can refer the school start date to a vote.

If this passes, though, those citizens lose that right. They lose that fundamental right to use their vote to impact their own lives.

It's just crazy, all these ballot initiatives coming forward wanting the state to make decisions for people.

It chaps my ass faster than bad Taco Bell.
Anonymous said…
I thought it was the out of country labor that was so cheap that we were sending all our work out of the country! Maybe business has been missing a whole segment (the South Dakota student) that can be exploited for cheap labor.

Just maybe those of you that feel your students labor is cheap are under estemating their value to your economy or are just plain uninformed on the total economic impact an issue like this has.
Anonymous said…
Two words - Local Control.

Two more words - Vote No
Anonymous said…
I served on our local shcol board for 8 years 2 of them as president and If you think that by letting the local school board decide the start date that is local control - you are very much miss guided. That is administration and teacher deciding the start date not the local population!

A state referendum with all elgible voters given the opportunity to express their wishes - that IS local control!
Anonymous said…
I agree the administration and teachers are the ones that decide the school calendar not the school board so claiming that is local control is a long shot at best!

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