Rapid City School District Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mitchell gave his third quarter press conference Tuesday, in which he highlighted how the district has been able to successfully reduce spending - saving Rapid City schools $1.9 million in five years.
Because of this, Mitchell says schools have been able to accurately track spending. He is asking the State for a three percent increase from the governor's budget.
Mitchell says the South Dakota surplus could potentially be spent on higher wages for teachers.
"Over the last couple of years we've seen a freeze, we've seen some bonuses," said Mitchell. "But we haven't seen anything significant as to ongoing and that always makes it difficult to attract and retain teachers in the Rapid City Schools."
Part of the reduced spending by area schools can be credited to early education. Studies show more than seven to 17 dollars in public funds are saved for every one dollar spent on high-quality early education.
"If children are ready to learn when they start school we're not putting money into the special education pieces, we're not having children who may need counseling who aren't ready socially and emotionally," said Professional Development Specialist for Early Childhood Conditions, Kim Booth.
Mitchell says one hundred percent of Rapid City kindergartners are in all day programs.