We need to focus on continually improving education in South Dakota at all levels to educate, train, and retrain knowledgeable students who are invaluable to our workforce and our communities. The Republican focus on buzzwords like “critical race theory” and their unjust and obsessive focus on excluding trans students are “culture war” issues that distract from genuine concerns with education in South Dakota, while their proposals for sentinels and armed teachers are wildly misguided. The first role of state government should be to ensure that our schools are fully funded. We need to adjust our school funding formula to match the inflation rate plus 1% — always. The state government should also focus on implementing standards that reflect professional expertise on education. There should be pre-K learning standards, along with a pre-K learning council.