The SCDP Education Caucus believes:

A QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL SOUTH CAROLINA CHILDREN

We believe……“Knowledge and learning, generally diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; shall be the duty of the General Assembly, to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual, scientific, and agricultural improvement; and to provide by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equal and open to all.” Indiana State Constitution (1951), Article 8:1. 

We believe that the state laws on charter schools and publically funded private schools violate the South Carolina Constitution.

FUNDING

We believe that every public school should have the necessary and sufficient resources to develop each student’s potential and interests to the fullest.

We believe that every child born and/or raised in South Carolina has the right and should have the opportunity to attend a financially well-supported public school from pre-kindergarten through university free of charge.

We believe that it is the responsibility of the SC Legislature to fund adequately and fully the public schools, and therefore we oppose the privatization of public education.

We believe that that the SC Legislature is morally obligates to fund public education through school funding formulas that are appropriate, and that it is immoral and discriminatory to use special laws and/or the tax code to confer special status on a segment of public education.

D​EMOCRACY

We believe that citizens of the South Carolina, including parents, teachers, and students be represented on all education panels, boards, committees, etc. in the executive branch of government.

PURPOSE AND CURRICULUM

We believe that the intellectual, moral, and civic development of each child is the goal of every school system. Consequentially, the importance and frequency of high stakes testing must be reduced, for such testing is injurious to our children.

We believe that a strong curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences must be offered to all students in the public schools.

We are concerned that the vocational tracking of our young people will put the demands of business and industry ahead of the needs and wishes of our students and that such tracking will be influenced by prevailing assumptions about the poor, minorities, and girls. We believe that parents, guardians, as well as students should be involved at each step of the student’s academic planning and career counseling.

GOVERNANCE

We believe that public school boards must assure competent leadership, supervision, and management in all schools under their control.

We believe that teaching is a profession, that South Carolina public schools require well-educated, trained, and licensed teachers, and that our teachers are entitled to respect and to the representation, compensation, and benefits of professional associations.

TRANSPARENCY

We believe that code words such as “reform,” “school choice,” “freedom to teach,” “teacher incentive bonuses,” “education efficiency,” and other such phrases are used to disguise the privatization of our public schools, denigrate the profession of teaching and teachers, and destroy our public schools.

We demand that all data collected on students be shared with parents or guardians, that policies regarding the use and dissemination of that data be explained to them, and that students’ privacy rights be maintained.

EQUITY

We believe that school disciplinary policies must be reviewed, that disciplinary practices which support a nurturing environment for students be employed and that suspension and expulsion be considered as a last resort.

Since we hold dear the education values and aims articulated in our state constitution, we demand that these concerns be addressed to fulfill the State’s pledge to all its children.