No matter where you travel in the country we see more and more schools being built. States continue to invest in infrastructure to accommodate the demand.

But what about those whose job is to educate our kids? Is South Dakota making any ground to support teacher pay? Finally!

For the first time since 1985 South Dakota’s average teacher salaries in the 2016-17 school year were no longer the lowest in the nation. It wasn't a big jump but it sure is a step in the right direction.

According to the National Education Association’s 2018 Rankings and Estimates report South Dakota’s average teacher salaries increased from $42,025 in 2015-16 to $46,979 in 2016-17. That's an increase of $4,954 or 11.8 percent. South Dakota’s average salary rose from 51st in the nation to 48th.

The increases came as a result of the 2016 State Legislature’s passage of the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

“The primary goal of the Blue Ribbon Task Force was to make South Dakota’s teacher salaries competitive with other states, considering salaries and cost of living, and we are accomplishing that. We also sent an important message to our teachers – that we value the work they do, that three decades in last place was enough and that we were willing to step up to improve their salaries.” ~ Gov. Dennis Daugaard

South Dakota teacher salaries rank even higher when adjusted for cost of living and taxes.

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