Education in South Carolina
Education in South Carolina public schools has always been a proverbial thorn in the side of the pride of the state. Consistently, the state has ranked near the bottom of rankings in average Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, low salaries for teachers, and curriculums that were at best below satisfactory. The primary reason for such dismal statistics is the lack of funding available to improve educational resources within the state. Furthermore, the inequities between public schools located in more ...view middle of the document...
The findings of the report led to the implementation of The Education Finance Act of 1977 (EFA) by Governor James B. Edwards. Basically, this law required state funds to be divvied out in larger portions to regions that suffered from low income resources. In addition to more funding for education, EFA created programs that improved the proficiency of teachers and required students to pass a basic skills exam before being able to progress and be promoted to the next grade level. Moreover, high school seniors were required to pass an exit exam to receive their high school diplomas.
After the success of The Education Finance Act of 1977, Governor Dick Riley aggressively lobbied and successfully passed The Education Improvement Act of 1984 (EIA). This law required a 1 cent sales tax increase throughout the state which created 250 million dollars in additional funds for South Carolina public schools. Several accolades for numerous well-renowned national newspapers hailed South Carolina as one of the most innovative and improved states for education.
The historical pieces for legislation above set the precedence for further strategies to improve upon the educational funding for South Carolina public schools both at the secondary and postsecondary levels.