COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -The discussion surrounding education reform in our state continues. A senate education subcommittee will meet Monday morning at the State House. Dozens of SC for Ed members are planning to be there, as well.
This as lawmakers continue to debate a more than 80-page education reform bill. The proposal has already passed the House but stalled in the Senate as year one of the current legislative session came to an end.
That discussion will pick back up again in January, but before that, the Senate Education Committee is planning to hold a series of subcommittee meetings to break down the massive bill into smaller parts.
Monday’s meeting is expected to cover the accountability and governance parts of Senate Bill 419, and lawmakers will also hear testimony from the public.
SC for Ed is expecting more than 50 members to testify.
Nicole Walker, a board member with SC for Ed, says, “We did have a good start in terms of opening the conversation. There’s quite a bit left to do, especially in terms of class size, disciplining classrooms, access to recourses. We kind of feel like we’ve taken a step forward, but right now just one step.”
After an estimated 10,000 people showed up for the All Out May 1st teachers rally – organized by SC for Ed – the group is hoping that this won’t be the last time people show their support for our schools.
“We appreciate all the community’s support from May 1. We would love to see that community support at things like subcommittee meetings and understanding that really this fight is for everyone and so we really need everyone to be involved,” Walker said.
SC for Ed is advocating for change in public schools across the state. Currently, the SC Department of Education will identify underperforming schools considered Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools, or CSI’s. These schools are offered additional funding and coaching to help bring the school up to state standards, but SC for Ed members say sometimes there’s work to be done outside of the school.
“If you don’t look at the whole community and everything that needs be done for a community in terms of infrastructure, jobs, resources for that community – you can’t really expect to come in for a few years and then everything is magically fixed and it all gets better. Schools are part of a community and whole communities need to be addressed,” Walker said.
Monday’s meeting is open to the public, and will be at the Gressette Building in room 105 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.