South Dakota lacking in public school funding
South Dakota state law requires that public education funding rises 2 percent per year to combat inflation, but the governor has not proposed any increase in funding for the coming school year. If state lawmakers do not propose a budget increase, state education funding will fall below the necessary budget, leading to cuts.
A half-cent sales tax act was passed in 2016 to support the budget increase caused by inflation. However, South Dakota Education Association President Mary McCorkle said the increase needs to be sustained in the future. Public education funding was cut 8 percent after the Great Recession. Funding was never regained, causing education budget cuts that directly affected students, teachers and communities.
State education officials want to defeat Senate Bill 147, which would deny collective bargaining for higher education professionals. This change would eliminate the possibility for college professors to argue their salaries, which already remain lower than the majority of state minimums. A similar proposal was defeated two years prior.
State educators are also asking lawmakers to change the eligibility date for children entering kindergarten from Sep. 1 to Aug. 1. Educators propose this would allow more children to be five-years-old upon entering kindergarten, encouraging social and emotional development.
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‘Skull Breaker Challenge’ goes viral on TikTok for dangerous reasons
From dance videos like “The Renegade“ and “Say So” to “I Can Put it in a Bun“ challenges, TikTok is not unfamiliar to viral trends. After a new trend called the “Skull Breaker Challenge” went viral last week, parents and doctors are warning TikTok users not to attempt the dangerous prank.
The prank takes an unsuspecting participant and places them in between two knowing participants. When instructed to jump in the air, the knowing participants kick inward, causing the middle participant to fall and potentially injure themselves. The prank first went viral in Spain. The video features the unknowing participant falling to the ground flat, with no body protection.
An Arizona child was left with a head injury, stitches in his face and severe cuts to his mouth after falling victim to the prank.
“He landed hard flat on his back and head. As he struggled to get up, he lost consciousness. He fell forward landing on his face,” mother Valerie Hodson said. “The school monitor ran to his side, all the while the two boys were snickering and laughing as his stiff unconscious body lay on the asphalt.”
After a 16-year-old in Florida was involved in the prank, her family intends to take legal action against her school district, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The district said in a statement: “Parents are urged to speak with their children about the responsible use of social media, and to remind them that respect and empathy for others is far more important than any online trend.”
After a 12-year-old Alabama boy was injured in result of the prank, an Ozark police lieutenant said, “If the prank is deemed reckless and somebody get hurt because of it, they can face assault charges.”
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Kids reflect on what Black History Month means to them
A school in St. Paul, Minnesota has a 100 percent African and African-American population of students. St. Peter Claver Catholic School students of all ages were asked what Black History Month means to them by a local news station.
Some students reflect on the work of their ancestors, saying it inspires them to work harder and achieve their goals. Others reflect on the matter of equality, while some students discuss famous African and African-American activists that worked toward equality. Watch the video below to hear their stories.