There is a general feeling that education at the local level will experience changes in a year or two as the transition at the top takes place.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was confirmed and sworn into office this week. Doug Morrison of the Sioux Falls School Board isn’t certain what path the department will take under the new leadership.

“So much is so undefined right now. What we know is what she stood for in the past and what she’s donated money to. You have to believe that the movement in Washington is not to have more federal funding on anything. You could argue that we’re (likely) going to see less federal funding in some shape or form.”

Morrison believes that if federal funding diminishes, the impact will certainly affect the most vulnerable kids.

“For us in Sioux Falls, that really means hitting our most disadvantaged kids for the most part. We use federal funding for things like class reduction in our Title schools to help benefit our most needy kids. If we start cutting that, it makes our challenge that much even more (daunting).”

Going forward, Morrison says he hopes that the Congressional delegation in Washington D.C. would keep track of changes that pertain to South Dakota education. Morrison has been on the Sioux Falls School Board for nine years and is almost certain that he will not run for re-election.


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