The lobbying group, Americans for Prosperity, come to Rapid City to hear the people's concerns

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - With the legislative session starting in less than one month, the conservative political group, Americans for Prosperity, made its way to Rapid City to hear what are some of the people's concerns.

Tariffs, license fees, and campus free speech were some of the topics discussed at the luncheon. But education was a big focus. Sylvia Cox, a former teacher and attorney, came to the meeting to see if Americans for Prosperity support legislation in Pierre on teacher's salaries and curriculum.

"Students be taught basic reading, writing, arithmetic and I have a feeling from watching my own children and now my grandchildren through school that to some extent those areas are being neglected," says Sylvia Cox, a retiree.

The state director of the lobbying group says school curriculum has to vary from child to child. He says children take too many tests and the classrooms need to be revamped by allowing teaching freedom.

"I don't think ranking students is necessarily a very healthy thing at all. I think it's important that we encourage things like individualized instruction or learning plans for students. I think that's an idea whose time has come," says Americans for Prosperity State Director Don Haggar.

An idea Cox wants to see.

"The teachers need more freedom in the classroom to decide what will interest their students and how they could put the ideas or subjects that their teaching across to their students," Cox says.

Haggar says he looks forward to meetings like this to seek out different views. He says policy change cannot be made if no one talks about the issues.

Americans for Prosperity plan to host two more luncheons. One will be in Pierre on Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The other will be in Sioux Falls from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.