Education Mis-steps in South Carolina
Today I want to talk about the second platform plank of mine. I call My program HEART, Yesterday I talked about Healthcare, Today I talk about Education. Education in South Carolina, which in my opinion is in a state of shambles. There are so many things wrong with the way the State handles education.
1- We don't fund education, We don't invest the dollars needed if we actually believe in the value of education. We have a law on the books, which our State Supreme Court upheld, which mandates that we must provide our children with a minimally adequate education. "Minimally Adequate", is that what we want for our children? How will the get ahead in this world with a minimally adequate education? Do you want your healthcare provider to have had a minimally adequate education? Would you like your lawyer to have had a minimally adequate education? What about your electrician, or your roofer, who don't understand math and can't read adequately.
2- We don't fund Education as if it is a priority in this state. Property taxes are one of two major funding sources for Public Education. We only allow governmental agencies to tax properties for Education, if they are second homes or if they are investment properties. Do people with primary ownership of homes in South Carolina not have children in schools? Why a class distinction between primary residence and secondary properties. I propose that we apply the tax structure equally across properties and normalize the tax burdens. We allowed the legislature to pass and implement SC Act 388, which removed school taxes on primary residences, in favor of a 1% increase in sales tax. This sales tax does not provide enough money to educate our children, our future.
3- As pour schools underperform because the Legislature has hamstrung them, they now propose to allow more and more parents to pull their children out of public schools and to allow the money the state would have provided to be used for private schooling. What this does is to deplete vital resources from Public Education, creating a vicious cycle where public schools will always underperform, parents pull their children out, and schools continue a downward spiral. The state should pay for Public Education and not for private schools. If we raise the standards and maintain them for Public Schools, parents will keep children in Public Schools and we will attract businesses and parents to the state of South Carolina.
4- We don't provide those with the most hands on understanding of what is needed in schools to have and adequate voice in how education is delivered in South Carolina. We need to have our teachers at the table, with the Legislature, to develop plans that work for students and that respect the training, dedication and work that our teachers do.
That is it for tonight on Education. Tomorrow my next letter is A, which in my world stands for Access. See you tomorrow!