As South Carolina focuses on preparing its students for the 21st century, its school funding system is trapped in the 20th—fractured and archaic. But, a shift to student-centered funding can create the freedom and incentives to unleash opportunity in every district and school in the state.
Education was once again on deck in Columbia this week as the House passed H.3759—The South Carolina Career Opportunity and Access for All Act—by a vote of 113-4.
Per pupil expenditures are high while performance is poor. Teacher compensation is flat while administrative spending is high and growing.
A December 2018 report by the credit monitoring service Experian revealed that student loan debt had reached an all-time high across the nation, with South Carolina the worst offender by far.
It was another busy education week in Columbia. Three quick takeaways: Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) is a parent-driven innovation that is central to our groundbreaking HO.P.E. Plan to help students reach their full potential. ESAs took a critical step forward with the introduction of S.556, a companion bill to H.3681 which drew 59 House co-sponsors.
Across the nation, an innovation known as Education Scholarship Accounts (ESA’s) is enjoying strong, bipartisan, legislative, parental and taxpayer support. Why? Because with ESA’s, a basic principle of fairness and freedom is achieved: state-appropriated education dollars follow the child.
Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey and Representative Shannon Erickson have filed legislation (S.523 and H.3681) that, if passed, would create “Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Accounts” (EOESAs) for South Carolina students.
The money we spend per student in South Carolina is high, relative to surrounding states, while our comparable student performance is poor.
Education is on the agenda in Columbia. With the Governor and top lawmakers vowing that 2019 is the year we will see big reforms to South Carolina’s last in the nation education system, educators and advocates wait to see what will be unveiled.
PPI Senior Fellow Dr. Oran P. Smith is quoted in this article from The State that appeared on January 20, 2019.