Gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley made several stops around the state to release her five-point plan to reform education. She’s calling for a simplification of the funding formula which she says would send more money to schools in poor areas.
The Republican representative appeared in front of Dutch Fork High School in Irmo on the first official day of the school year.
My mother was a sixth grade social studies teacher. My father was a professor. Education was very important in my family. We lived in Bamberg. It was a rural area where we didn’t know what we didn’t have. And now I’m blessed to represent Lexington County where every school is like a private one. The problem is you go into all my classes in Lexington and there is all this technology in all the classrooms. You go into the schools in Bamberg and you don’t see those same technologies. And that’s what has to change.
Haley’s plan calls for a teacher pay formula that would reward teachers for taking on difficult teaching assignments. It also mentions improving vocational school alternatives for at-risk children, and increasing the number of charter schools. Charter schools are attended by choice as education alternatives. They receive public money but are not subject to some of the regulations under which regular public schools operate.
Haley’s delivery in front of the high school was interupted by frequent loudspeaker announcements.
Haley says local school districts should have more control over what they do, but at the same time she is calling for legislation that would mandate uniform architectural plans for school construction. She defends that as a way of saving education dollars.
Haley says there are too many state mandates that are costly for local school districts. She says the system needs to be simplified.
Go into any district office and see how many accountants they need just to manage the pots, to make sure the money goes where the state mandates it to go. What I’m saying is the state needs to stop mandating where the money goes and just give it to them. And let them improve standards, and simplify it. Anything simplified is better.
Haley also stopped in Greenville Thursday at Langston Charter Middle School and at Meeting Street Academy in Charleston. She faces Democrat Vincent Sheheen in the November election.