A roundup of what’s making news in South Carolina state government
A bill that would require cursive writing and multiplication table memorization to be part of a school curriculum will be on a House education subcommittee agenda Tuesday.
Media General’s Robert Kittle reports the bill by Rep. Dwight Loftis (R-Greenville) is in response to new Common Core standards South Carolina will adopt next year, which do not require cursive or memorizing multiplication tables.
Supporters of cursive say it allows a student to learn how to write more quickly and allows them to read older documents that are crafted in the traditional style. But others question the practical use of cursive and whether rote memorization is the best way to teach math.
The bill will go before the House K-12 Education Subcommittee after Tuesday afternoon’s general floor session.
— A circuit judge will hold a hearing later this week on whether House Speaker Bobby Harrell can request to have state Attorney General Alan Wilson removed as prosecutor from a grand jury investigation into Harrell’s alleged ethics violations. Last week, The State newspaper revealed that Harrell’s legal team was maneuvering to secretly have a judge require a different prosecutor for the case. The hearing is currently closed to the public, but several news organizations say the case is not covered by secrecy laws. Wilson announced in January that Harrell’s nearly yearlong ethics investigation had been turned over to a grand jury. The Speaker maintains he did nothing wrong.
— Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell is considered a very realistic candidate to become the next president at the College of Charleston. Which begs the question: who would take his place as the governor’s successor should McConnell land the academic job and give up his political post? According to the state constitution, Senate President pro tempore Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, would be required to step in (as McConnell did when previous Lt. Gov. Ken Ard resigned). But The State newspaper reports Courson has no interest in doing that whatsoever and would likely leave the office vacant should McConnell leave. South Carolina has had no one in the lieutenant governor’s position before, but not since 1967.
— State legislators want the Haley Administration to step in and take over a McCormick school for at-risk teens that is struggling with excessive costs. Legislators voted last week to require the state Department of Juvenile Justice to approve any policies and decisions that the John de la Howe school board of trustees make over the next year. But the school’s board is against the idea, saying it would send, “the wrong message to children and families.”