South Carolina’s governor on Wednesday released a $156 million education reform plan for the state.
Gov. Nikki Haley’s “K-12 Education Reform Initiative” is the result of a yearlong campaign, meeting with teachers, administrators, business leaders, and more. The plan seeks to adopt a “fairer and simpler” education funding, promote reading, invest in educational technology, and expand options for education.
While the plan seeks to give 20 percent more funding for students within the poverty index, it also seeks to equalize base per-student funding.
“Providing every child in South Carolina with the same educational opportunities isn’t just something we should talk about — it’s something we should be actively fighting to achieve and that is what we are doing today,” Haley said in a statement. “By reforming South Carolina’s antiquated funding formula, providing funding for reading coaches and new technology, we are taking a stand against the idea that where you are born and raised should influence the quality of your education. We have an obligation, as good citizens, and as a government, to provide every child with the chance to reach their potential in the classroom – that is our obligation and that is my promise.”
The K-12 Education Reform Initiative includes the following:
- $97 million for children in poverty to provide a quality education for those living in the state’s poorest communities.
- $29.5 million reading coach program that offers funding for a reading coach in every public elementary school in South Carolina.
- $29.3 million to improving bandwidth to school facilities, bolstering wireless connectivity within school walls, and launching or enhancing the push to ensure that every student has a computer or tablet.
Haley’s plan has earned early support from the Foundation for Excellence in Education, founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. In a statement from the governor’s office, Bamberg School District 1 and Saluda County Schools superintendents also expressed support.
The initiative can be read here: Gov Nikki Haley – K-12 Education Reform Initiative 2014