We’ve already looked at the pre-filed K-12 bills in the House, now here is an overview of legislation in the South Carolina Senate:
# S. 99, constitutional amendment; introduction of the so-called “high quality” language into the State Constitution. It calls for a re-write of the State Constitution’s mandates on public education. Authors have suggested that cutting and pasting a few words into the SC Constitution will radically improve the $11,480 per student schools. In actuality, this will do nothing more than invite another expensive and fruitless series of lawsuits, reminiscent of the fruitless 10-year “Corridor of Shame” trials. More details about this controversial proposal here. Sponsor: Matthews (D-Orangeburg).
# S. 129, constitutional amendment – eliminating Commissioner of Agriculture, Adjutant General and Superintendent of Education as elected. The intention is to streamline state government and depoliticize responsibilities for administering government services. Sponsor: Sheheen (D-Kershaw)
# S. 134, forbids school discrimination on religious viewpoints and guarantees right to organize prayer groups, religious clubs, ‘see you at the pole’ gatherings, or other religious gatherings before, during, and after school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other noncurricular student activities and groups. Sponsor: Sheheen (D-Kershaw)
# S. 143, creation of a state School Facilities Infrastructure to expand state involvement in funding of local school district buildings, traditionally the realm of local governments. Sponsor: Lourie (D-Richland).
# S. 164, constitutional amendment so that the Governor appoints Superintendent of Education. The intention is to streamline state government and depoliticize responsibilities for administering K-12 educational services. Sponsor: Campsen (R-Charleston).
# S. 175, elimination of maintenance of effort in school funding. This would further centralize K-12 funding at the state (rather than local level) by eliminating the complicated formula for matching local money with state inputs. Cleary (R-Georgetown).