South Carolina moving forward on education reform

February 15, 2019

Ellen Weaver

Former President & CEO

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. Led by Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, Sen. Ross Turner, and initially joined by Senate Education Chair Greg Hembree and seven other key senators, this legislation would create unprecedented opportunity for South Carolina students who need it most. Heritage Foundation ESA expert and Greenville resident Jonathan Butcher took to The Daily Signal to celebrate how ESAs are working for over 15,000 students across the country. He explained what they could mean for children across our state.
  • Upstate Rep. Jason Elliott was joined by Reps. Garry Smith, Dwight Loftis, Mike Burns, Bobby Cox, William Cogswell and Bruce Bannister to introduce 3972, another key plank of the H.O.P.E. Plan. Modeled on highly successful programs in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and elsewhere, Online Course Access legislation would give wide access to high-quality teaching and content for public school students in every community in our state. This is an idea with strong bi-partisan support, including South Carolina former Gov. Dick Riley, you can read our handy Fast Facts to learn more.
  • On Monday, I was honored to be elected Chair of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee. The committee is appointed by the legislature and tasked with implementing and overseeing South Carolina’s school improvement system. Our Southeastern neighbors are demonstrating that with high expectations and bold action, real progress is possible to close achievement gaps and elevate every student. I am confident that South Carolina students can achieve and compete with any students in the nation, if we as education leaders are brave enough to change our mindsets.

We’ll keep fighting. Thanks for your support.