The Swier Law Firm Education Law FAQs
Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.
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What is the South Dakota School Sentinel Program?
The South Dakota School Sentinel Program allows a school board to create, establish, and supervise the arming of school employees, hired security personnel, or volunteers in such a manner as the board believes will be most likely to secure or enhance the deterrence of physical threat and defense of the school, its students, its staff, and members of the public on the school premises against violent attack.
Who must sign a teacher’s contract?
A teacher's contract must be signed by the teacher, the school board president, and the school district's business manager.
When does a school board member’s resignation become effective?
A school board member’s resignation requires a successor to be appointed to fill the vacancy and the resignation is not effective until the successor is appointed and qualified. Until that time, the resigning school board member continues to serve in an official capacity as a school board member.
Under what circumstances could a school board member have a conflict of interest?
No school board member may participate in discussing or vote on any issue in which he has a conflict of interest. Each school board member must decide if any potential conflict of interest requires him to be disqualified from participating in discussion or voting. However, no school board member may participate in discussing or vote on an issue if:
(1) the school board member has a direct pecuniary interest in the matter before the school board; or
(2) at least two-thirds of the school board votes that the member has an identifiable conflict of interest that should prohibit him from voting on a specific matter.
What is the composition of a school board?
A school board includes five, seven, or nine members whose terms must be from one to three years initially, and three years thereafter. However, each school board member is entitled to complete the term of office to which he was elected.
What is “just cause” for nonrenewal of a "continuing contract law" teacher?
"Just cause" for nonrenewal includes breach of contract, poor performance, incompetency, gross immorality, unprofessional conduct, insubordination, neglect of duty, or the violation of any policy or regulation of the school district.
By what date does a “continuing contract law” teacher have to be given notice of a nonrenewal recommendation?
A "continuing contract law" teacher must be given written notice of a nonrenewal recommendation on or before April 15.
May a public school employee run for public office?
Yes. A public school employee cannot lose his job or job status by becoming a candidate for any public office if it does not entail a neglect of duy.
In South Dakota, may a teacher and a school district agree on a multi-year contract?
Yes. However, no teacher's contract can exceed three years.
Does a school district have to provide students the opportunity to recite the pledge of allegiance?
Yes. A school district must provide students the opportunity to salute the United States and the flag each day by reciting the pledge of allegiance.