COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced a $10.5 million dollar investment in the state’s public charter schools and workforce development efforts through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund.
South Carolina’s charter schools will receive $9 million to offset increased enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a release, the funds will be allocated based on the number of students enrolled in brick and mortar and virtual charter schools as of the 135th day of enrollment in the current school year.
“The South Carolina Public Charter School District is grateful to Governor McMaster for his long-time support of public charter schools and for putting kids first,” South Carolina Public Charter School District Superintendent Chris Neeley said. “We are thankful for the Governor’s award of $9 million in GEER funds for our students during this unprecedented year of rapid growth and demand for public charter schools in South Carolina. His support will ensure we can continue to provide our students a high-quality education in a safe and in-person setting.”
The governor’s office says that due to the difference in cost of instruction, brick and mortar schools will receive $220 per student while virtual charter schools will receive $116 per student.
“I am thankful to Governor McMaster for his unwavering support for the tens of thousands of public charter school students across South Carolina,” Erskine Superintendent and CEO Cameron Runyan said. “These funds will ensure that South Carolina families who chose a charter school as their preferred educational option during the COVID pandemic will be able to safely and effectively finish out the school year.”
Gov. McMaster also awarded $1.5 million to the South Carolina Department of Commerce to establish the South Carolina Workforce Journey’s initiative, which will provide career exploration and job preparation resources for those between the age of 16 and 24 who were impacted by the pandemic, the release states.
The release states that the funds will pay for 30,000 South Carolinians to take an assessment to measure soft skills and core competencies for entry and mid-skill jobs. The initiative will employ new technology to highlight current and prospective career opportunities and will target high schools, career and technical education centers, technical colleges and employers.