Supporting Public Education

My very first career calling was as a science educator in the public school system. After receiving a Masters in Arts in Teaching (MAT) in 1995, I taught Physics for a while at the high school and college levels. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Investment in public education is an investment in public health, public safety, and in our economy. Why then does South Carolina continue to rank at the bottom of most metrics with regard to education?

Once again, South Carolina is ranked in the bottom 10 of the most educated states in America

The State, Feb 2021

True investment in our schools and teachers

Students need good, passionate and qualified educators who in turn will lift our children in knowledge, skills and confidence. To this, we must:

  • Ensure that our teachers and educational staff receive compensation that’s competitive not only to adjacent states but also to private business such that a career in public education can be a lifelong pursuit
  • Stop forcing our teachers to purchase equipment and materials out of their own pockets. When teachers have to buy their own garbage cans or beg parents for donations for basic needs like pencils and crayons, we have failed as a state government.
  • End the assault on teachers, librarians and school boards with extremist ideology that’s causing good, talented individuals to leave the profession or think twice about participating. Some legislators encourage, if not turn a blind eye, to the aggressive nature of attacks on our educators. Instead of supporting them, bills and budget provisos are causing fear and doubt to grow in the classrooms and libraries in our state.

Educational Savings Accounts

Much is made of parental choice and opening access to private charter schools. There are a number of solid concerns raised about Bill S.935, but the most troubling to me is found in this infographic below.

400,000 students in South Carolina would qualify for this, but the money would go only to 5,000 of them! And even then, the $6,000 token amount only puts a dent in the exorbitant cost of these private institutions.

The fact that there are so many students who are living below federal poverty levels should be raising alarm bells from chamber to chamber in the State House! Why are they focusing on a token gesture that diverts funds from public schools that helps so few students?

Instead of diverting taxpayer dollars away from our struggling schools, we should be increasing our investments! Do you pull the plug on a sick patient? No – you seek alternate treatments or increase the medicine dosage. Our schools are in trouble and they need our help!