education

Though South Carolina’s schools are struggling, they are filled with promise. Despite facing significant challenges, some of our students are boasting the highest GPAs in the country. Our teachers work hard and care deeply, however, we’re unable to retain top talent within our educational system. It’s time for innovative solutions to some of our state’s toughest problems in education.

Rethink

We need to rethink our approach to helping students who struggle in school.

  • Implement intervention programs for at-risk children under the age of 5 to prepare them for school and help break the cycle of poverty.
  • Identify students with learning disabilities earlier and make the process of accommodations easier.
  • Reduce in-school, out-of-school suspension, and in-school arrest rates by expanding the successful Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Restorative Justice programs.
  • Pass bipartisan bill S131 to amend the Disturbing Schools law.

Reform

It’s time to reform the Education Accountability Act so our students can focus on critical thinking skills instead of test preparation.

  • Evaluate teachers and students with a broader range of assessment tools than just standardized tests.
  • Create an environment where teachers can take risks to create meaningful change without fear of loss of employment.
  • Give teachers autonomy in their classrooms to differentiate and customize for each student’s strengths and abilities.
  • Provide structured time for teachers to plan, collaborate, and innovate.

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Restore

It’s time to let our kids be kids again. Restore tried and true methods to support our student’s academic performance.

  • Require 30 minutes of Physical Education in addition to a 20-minute recess period daily for elementary students to combat obesity, attention disorders, and promote social skills.
  • Bring back art and music for every elementary school student.
  • Protect student’s lunch and recess periods from discipline actions or make up work.

Recognize

Great teachers are the key to successful schools. When we recognize their value professionally and financially, we will attract and keep the country’s best.

  • Raise teacher salaries to be competitive
  • Ensure equity and diversity in leadership positions via clear prerequisites and a transparent selection process.
  • Create a team of teachers for each district to provide input to local school boards on purchasing decisions. 
  • Provide a variety of self-directed training opportunities for teachers and administrators instead of a one-size-fits-all program for everyone regardless of need.