Dan is the product of the public education system. He has a degree in Government and International Relations from Augustana University. As a businessman, community organizer and state legislator, Dan knows that every goal we have — fixing our healthcare system, protecting our climate and our Earth, and growing our economy for everyone — starts with a great education for every American, one that prepares them for great jobs today, and in the future.
That means expanding access to early childhood education. That means a K-12 education system that treats teachers like valued professionals, paying them a decent wage and giving them the tools, materials, resources, and support to grow in their profession and to succeed.
As a state legislator, Dan helped improve K-12, special education and post secondary funding. He was a leading voice for funding reform for the special education task force. He also sponsored and led the bi-partisan effort to pass LEAD-K legislation to improve delivery of educational services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Dan was appointed to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education where he represented South Dakota on national issues and trends in higher ed. He supported and helped pass legislation that invested in higher education facilities like the Lee Medical building at USD and the Madlabs Cybersecurity building at DSU to ensure our students have access to the latest technology and best programs in the country.
As a state legislator and substitute teacher, Dan understands the needs of the public education system as well as the opportunity that can be offered to promote students success. Dan is proud to stand with teachers as they fight for higher pay and more funding. It also means ensuring all students have access to STEM classes and advanced placement classes.
Whether you go on to college, trade school, or directly to a job that pays a living wage, Dan believes that your education should prepare you to thrive in a rapidly-changing economy. All our kids, regardless of the path they take, need some post-secondary training to compete in a 21st Century economy. Right now, there are 5.9 million job openings in the country, many of which cannot be filled for lack of trained, qualified workers. We need to invest more in career training, apprenticeship programs and work to streamline professional certification.
South Dakota has six state universities and an emerging community college system. Dan knows what a great public higher education institution can do for its students and our economy — and he’s committed to making sure more students gain that experience without the burden of crushing debt.