Initiative Measure 15 would have provided around $4 million to Rapid City Area Schools. "For every missed dollar it's a missed opportunity for students," said Jefferson Academy Biology teacher Frances Linn.
Linn says it's the students that will pay the ultimate price. "It means less labs, it means less computers, it means that students can't do everything that they would be able to do if there were resources there," said Linn.
It also means education funding is back to square one. "Now the legislature is going back to do what if traditionally does and that is weight priorities and balance our budget and determine which things deserve "x" amount of money," said House Majority Leader David Lust.
Superintendent Dr. Mitchell says the Rapid City Area Schools are operating on a $200 million budget and it can be difficult to balance. "I spend lots of time not sleeping at night thinking about what's going to be next," said Mitchell.
Mitchell says now that Measure 15 has been rejected; they will have to sit down with legislatures and put their thinking caps on. "Education is a critical element," said Mitchell. "Its I believe critical for our democracy, I believe it's critical for our economic development, and it needs to be prioritized."
"There's no easy answer," said State Representative Jacqueline Sly. "I think we have to regroup, put our heads together, bring the stakeholders together and start talking about what we are going to do."
But everyone seems optimistic that education will not be overlooked. "I know as South Dakotans we can do better," said Linn. "I know that we value our students, and I know that we need to start putting our money where our mouth is."
November 13th members of legislature and school administrators will meet to discuss educational funding options.