Our state delegation told us yesterday that the single most important action we can take to fight Gov. Daugaard's cuts is to write the governor and everyone in the Legislature. Earlier posts on the blog have given links to Brookings legislators and the governor.
Click on this link to write the rest of the state's leaders. We just sat down at the computer, took a couple moments to compose a brief, personal, heartfelt plea and then went through the list. From start to finish, the task took maybe 20 minutes — a fraction of time compared to the entire K-12 experience of one child that will be lost if Daugaard's cuts go through.
As many people are responding to the call for action, there are many more still sitting on the sidelines. We need everyone to join the fight for education.
Better options exist to fixing the state's budget mess than throwing our schoolchildren under the bus.
UPDATE: Within an hour of emailing legislators across the state, here are the first two responses that arrived:
1) Rep. Susy Blake, Minnehaha, District 13 — "I am and I will continue to fight against these 10% cuts to both education and Medicaid. Children will suffer the greatest blow from these slashes to the budget. There is another bill you should write your senators about. It is HB1230 (and) it's called the Large Project Development Fund. It passed the House but not one Democrat voted for it, and only one Republican voted against it. It will take money away from the Contractors Excise Tax, which currently is going into the Gen Fund for education and Medicaid and put it in this new fund for the Governor to use to give tax rebates to lure large (over $5 million) businesses to come to SD. Do we need the revenue? Of course we do, but to do this (it doesn't start til 2013) at a time when we are not funding education and taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves? I think this is wrong. This bill has not been voted (on) in the Senate yet so you could express how you feel to your senator now before the vote. Thanks for your letter, keep writing and telling your legislators what is important and what is not!"
2) Sen. Mark Johnston, Lincoln & Minnehaha, District 12 — "I'm sorry ... we simply have no other choice. We don't have the money."