Yesterday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley delivered her sixth State of the State address, in which she laid out a budget that moves education reform forward. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Haley for her leadership in continuing to improve the education system and prioritizing student learning and success.
Some highlights from Governor Haley’s budget to continue improving South Carolina’s education system include:
- School Choice and Digital Learning: The Governor is seeking $11.5 million to accommodate the addition of seven new schools to the South Carolina Public Charter School District, along with $1.2 million to expand the number of teachers in the state’s VirtualSC program. She is also allocating $5.8 million to boost connectivity in local schools, $5.2 million to bring broadband internet access to the homes of 10,000 underserved students and $27 million for digital and traditional instructional materials.
- College and Career Readiness: Governor Haley is adding $3 million to fund industry certifications for South Carolina students, with a goal of increasing the number who earn these credentials by at least one percent each year. She is also proposing $700,000 to fully fund the cost of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams statewide. And she is creating a new dual-enrollment weight of $345 per pupil in the Palmetto State’s student funding formula.
- Governance Reform: Together with State Superintendent Molly Spearman, Governor Haley is asking the legislature to put a statewide referendum on the ballot in November that would make the superintendent position appointed beginning in 2023 (the state superintendent is currently elected). As many as 38 other states currently appoint their state education chief, helping to ensure a united vision with their respective governors.
Governor Haley also highlighted South Carolina’s comprehensive K-3 Reading law, Read to Succeed, in her remarks. Passed in 2014, Read to Succeed focuses on intensive intervention for K-3 students who are at risk of reading failure to help ensure they read on grade level by the end of third grade. With additional support from the legislature in 2015, “we have put reading coaches in every elementary school and will no longer pass a child out of the third grade if they can’t read,” Governor Haley said.
We look forward to partnering with the Governor and the South Carolina legislature to help every Palmetto State student achieve their full potential through these policies and other initiatives.
Thank you for your continued support of these efforts.
J. Alex Kelly
Vice President of Advocacy
The Foundation for Excellence in Education