A familiar face in education is back in elected office. Former state Education Superintendent Dr. Barbara Nielson was elected by the South Carolina Senate to the board of the public charter schools.”You never lose your passion for education and during my adminstration we passed the first public charter school bill and then it was refined, which was a good thing. Now we’re kind of known throughout the nation because we have a district.”
Any school district can create a charter school — or one can be established through the state charter school district—as is happening with virtual schools. It’s not as easy in some of the the rural areas of the state, says Nielson, where old or vacated buildings are harder to come by.
“But it gives parents a choice,” says Nielson, “And it is within the public school framework and it allows for innovation and I think that is really key. We want to be able to do new and different things for children. Many of the public charter schools that exist —whether by the school district authorized or by the South Carolina Public Charter School District — are small.”
Dr. Nielson is now approved and appointed by the Senate to the seat held by Dr. David Church.