The 2019 South Carolina legislative session saw a strong focus on K-12 education. New education spending topped $290 million. While many important needs were met, most notably the teacher pay increase, there is still work to be done in order to unlock South Carolina’s true potential and improve educational outcomes. Below is a quick list of the needs that money addressed… and what the legislature did not address.
On the overall issue of education, however, we must assign a grade of incomplete. Why?
There are several education reforms that we have advocated for that were not finalized, from consolidation of small and shrinking districts to overhauling our broken, complicated funding formula to get dollars out of bureaucracy and back into classrooms.
But most importantly, the legislature took a pass (for now) on including the most powerful reform of all: providing low income and special needs parents with more education options for their children.
Thankfully, the 2019-2020 session is only half over. There is still time to give more options to parents who struggle to find the right education to meet the unique needs of their children. Other states like Florida are gaining ground for students who need it most by expanding the power of education choice. Now is the time to empower parents and students alike with the freedom and opportunity that education choice provides.