top of page
  • Samantha Johnson, NewsCenter1

West River legislators vow to continue supporting Douglas School District and Ellsworth Air Force Base

RAPID CITY, S.D. - South Dakota's Joint Appropriations Committee defeated a bill aimed at providing funding for a new Douglas Elementary School in Box Elder. Watch the NewsCenter1 video and read the article here.

Despite this setback, legislators are adamant about continuing the fight to secure funding for the project. State Representative Mike Derby for District 34, affirms that the defeat of the bill does not mark the end of support for the Douglas District and Ellsworth Air Force Base.

"We're not going to just step down. We're going to educate the appropriators this next year. Get them on Ellsworth Air Force Base. And we're also going to hopefully get a summer study session about what's the impact of Ellsworth Air Force Base in the school system, so that they're ready when they need to bring everybody [airmen and women] here," stated Rep. Mike Derby. "We're fully in support of this process and Ellsworth, and we're going to continue working hard on it."

Derby highlights the importance of educating East River counterparts on the necessity of school funding for the base's personnel and the broader impact on the entire state. He stresses that increasing the quality of life in Box Elder benefits not only the airmen and women but the entire community.

Meanwhile, legislators are exploring alternative avenues for funding. Derby reiterates their determination to fight for the base and its families, saying that it is now to educate and demonstrate the broader benefits of improving the quality of life in Box Elder.

Despite the defeat of the bill, West River legislators remain resolute in their commitment to securing funding for the new Douglas Elementary School and supporting the needs of Ellsworth Air Force Base and its surrounding community.


bottom of page