He says his win shows voters want a new direction for public education in South Carolina.
I think what this victory show is that the people of South Carolina are ready for conservative, innovative, significant reform in education that puts students, parents, and teachers at the forefront. I think they will look for an experienced leader and an experienced educator… and they picked me.
Zais is a former president of Newberry College. He has been a proponent for more choices among students. He says he hopes to make more options available in the state’s public school system.
One of the things that I’ve always advocated is that parents should have an option on the kind of educational environment that their children experience, whether that’s a traditional school, a magnet school, a charter school, a Montessori school, an online school, single-gender, or whatever.
Zais said he also hopes to move the educational system away from college preparation for all students. Instead he hopes other students will take technical routes to graduation. Zais also says budget cuts will demand his department to operate more efficiently.
Frankly, I think there’s some significant business efficiencies that we can realize. And, frankly, I believe we have too much administration and overhead and programs being funded, and not enough dollars getting to the classroom and teachers.
Zais defeated Democrat Frank Holleman 51 percent to 42 percent. He succeeds current superintendent Jim Rex.