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  1. A shortage of substitute teachers available to fill open classroom slots in South Dakota schools is pushing some districts to make difficult choices that may make teaching less effective and learning more difficult.
  2. As COVID-19 cases surge in South Dakota, medical experts are seeing more children hospitalized for severe symptoms and new research has led to concerns that some infected children will suffer the same "long-hauler" symptoms previously seen in adults. Increased vaccinations of children are seen as one potential solution.
  3. South Dakota and other states have returned millions of dollars of unused pandemic housing assistance funds to the federal treasury because they were not allocating them fast enough to landlords or due to lack of applications. State housing officials say they received more money than needed and overall have done well in distributing funds to enable renters to stay in housing and to help landlords remain solvent.
  4. With the future of legal abortion in America suddenly uncertain, advocates on both sides of the issue expect a battle over access to abortion in South Dakota to be waged during the upcoming 2022 legislative session. While pro-life advocates expect to see strong legislation filed, pro-choice advocates are gearing up to protect a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.
  5. Small businesses that are the pillars of the South Dakota economy are struggling to keep store shelves stocked during a lingering global supply chain crisis, but many are finding creative ways to keep customers happy and revenues flowing.
  6. Four experts on the child care crisis in South Dakota say Gov. Kristi Noem's proposal to spend $100 million to prop up the daycare industry in the state will be helpful, but is only a first step toward solving a crisis that is stressing working families and which could stifle future statewide economic growth.
  7. Two recent reports provide suggestions on how to improve the child care shortage in Sioux Falls and South Dakota.
  8. The daycare shortage in South Dakota is most acute in rural and reservation communities where working parents have few options and may have to go to great lengths to get child care and in order to remain in the workforce.
  9. A 3-part special report: South Dakota is experiencing a crisis in regard to a lack of access to quality, affordable child care, and the situation is putting great stress and pressure on working families, daycare providers and employers who are struggling to find workers. Community leaders are seeking solutions to a problem they worry could stifle economic growth in communities and on reservations across the state.
  10. A lack of access to affordable child care in South Dakota is exacerbating the state's workforce shortage and putting extreme stress and pressure on working families, daycare providers and employers. On Thursday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Central, South Dakota News Watch will host an online panel discussion featuring four South Dakotans who are on the front lines of trying to manage the daycare crisis and find solutions to the problem. Viewers can tune in for free and submit questions to the panelists; find sign-up information by clicking on this article.
Inform. Enlighten. Illuminate.
About News Watch
South Dakota News Watch is a non-partisan nonprofit organization producing in-depth coverage that sheds light on the issues and concerns of all citizens. As we undertake our fourth full year of operation, we would like to thank our supporters for their generous contributions — during the year-end matching funds campaign and at other times of the year. Because of you, South Dakota News Watch will continue to fulfill its mission of bringing important issues to light, throughout 2021 and beyond.