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South Carolina Policymakers Explore How to Expand Access to Quality Public Charter Schools


• Sam Duell

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit South Carolina earlier this month to speak with the House Education and Public Works Ad Hoc Committee on Public Charter Schools.

Policymakers and education leaders in the Palmetto State have done a great job creating viable opportunities for families around the state.

But we cannot rest. Even as waiting lists for public charter schools around the country continue to grow, persistent misunderstandings about charter school policy remain among the media and the public.

I proposed four areas for policymakers to consider as they review laws and rules to make public charter schools more successful and accessible.

  • Amend the law to require clear performance objectives to assure that each school works with their sponsor to ensure quality outcomes.
  • To ensure their sustainability, provide public charter schools with more access and means to secure long-term facilities.
  • Encourage districts and public charter schools to work together. The closer those relationships, the better the outcome for students.
  • Create a fast-track for public charter schools that have demonstrated high quality outcomes to serve more students.

While success is never final when it comes to preparing students for careers and for life, it is always reassuring to see public servants eager to explore the best ways to provide educational freedom and opportunities to all families.

Video of this October 16 meeting can be found here.

For more information on the power of public charters schools, please visit the ExcelinEd website.


About the author


Sam Duell

sam@excelined.org

Before Sam joined ExcelinEd as the Associate Policy Director for Charter Schools, he was a special education teacher, a school and central office administrator, the Executive Director of School Choice at Oklahoma’s department of education and the Managing Director of OPSRC’s Education Collaborative. In every position, Sam worked creatively to meet student needs. He founded the Integrated Support Program at Fischer Middle School in San Jose, California to increase the number and percentage of students with learning disabilities who have access to the general education classroom. He was the first administrator of Oklahoma’s Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, the authorizer for online schools in Oklahoma. And he co-founded a statewide afterschool network called the Oklahoma Partnership for Expanded Learning to organize and advocate for expanded learning opportunities after school and during the summer. Sam’s current interests include charter schools and their role in a functional, thriving democracy.