SIOUX FALLS – Senator Billie Sutton, candidate for South Dakota Governor, today released his “Education for the Next Generation: A Plan for a Brighter South Dakota Future.” The plan, which comes on the one-year anniversary of the Sutton campaign’s announcement, outlines the actions Sutton will take as governor to provide world-class educational opportunities that ensure bright futures for our state and its families.
Sutton said, “When I look into the eyes of my two-year-old son, Liam, I recognize exactly the kind of bright tomorrows we must build for the next generations. Starting in early childhood and throughout their adult lives, South Dakotans deserve the chance to earn a brighter future through education and hard work.”
Sutton’s plan focuses on providing opportunities for quality education at every stage of life:
- Early Childhood: As one of a handful of states that doesn’t provide any state support for preschool, South Dakota is losing out on economic gains of $7-13 return for every dollar invested in early childhood education. Billie will work to study the need for early childhood education in South Dakota and look for ways to re-prioritize state spending so that funding is available for a program that will pay off well into the future.
- K-12: Billie has a record of fighting for our teachers and will continue to support them with regionally competitive teacher pay, tuition reimbursement program for teachers who work in underserved communities, and increased flexibility for school districts to best serve their students and communities. Billie will also work with high schools, both urban and rural, to make sure students are prepared for their next steps after graduation with greater dual-credit opportunities for all interests.
- Higher Education: Billie is focused on ensuring our students can afford an education in South Dakota. He’ll work to make higher education less expensive by increasing funding for needs-based scholarships and mitigating costs at state schools to make sure every student who wants to work toward a brighter future for South Dakota can afford the opportunity.
- Lifelong Learners: As an integral piece of workforce development, Billie knows education is important to more than just our young people. As governor, Billie will work to make educational opportunities accessible and affordable for people in all life’s stages by increasing access to scholarships and by encouraging creative education and training options like satellite classes, effective online degrees, and apprenticeship programs.
Billie Sutton is a rancher, financial professional at a small community bank, State Senator, former professional rodeo cowboy, fifth-generation South Dakotan, and candidate for Governor.