A HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL
Lisa knows firsthand that there are incredible educators working throughout our state, often under very difficult conditions, and yet the state is ranked near the bottom of the country in far too many educational metrics. We need to listen to what experts are telling us about how to improve educational outcomes for all students by
Funding schools more equitably by updating and fully funding the Base Student Cost formula created by the Education Finance Act. SC has not fully funded this amount since 2008, leaving the state’s schools behind billions in their budgets.
Reducing testing by eliminating state tests that are not required by federal law, and giving districts better guidance on how to use formative assessments.
Hiring more mental health professionals, school nurses, and other staff members to prioritize the health and safety of children.
Partnerships Between Parents and Schools
The adults at home are the most important educators in a child’s life. Lisa will strengthen the partnership between parents and guardians and schools by
Directing districts to make existing procedures and policies easily accessible to parents and guardians, if they are not already doing so.
Encouraging districts to adopt board meeting procedures and practices that invite constructive dialogue with the community.
Supporting revisions to the School Report Card that focus on measures of student and school success beyond the current overemphasis on test scores.
Keeping Public Funds in Public Schools
Lisa believes families have the right to make educational choices for their students, but opposes any plan to use taxpayer funds to pay for schools that are unregulated or allowed to discriminate against students for any reason. Lisa opposes as currently proposed
Education Savings Accounts (which many call “vouchers”).
Any redistribution of funds intended for public schools and educational institutions, for the benefit of private schools.
Any violation of the SC state constitution’s prohibition against the state funding of private schools, and the exploitation of any legal loophole intended to violate the spirit of that prohibition.
Teacher and Staff Recruitment and Retention
Lisa knows that every student in South Carolina deserves a high quality teacher for every class, yet as of February, there were 1,121 unfilled teacher vacancies in the state according to CERRA. To combat this rising crisis, Lisa will
Push for South Carolina to use its unprecedented budget surplus to finally honor the state’s Education Finance Act by meeting or beating the Southeastern average teacher salary.
Push for higher salaries for other essential staff, including paraprofessionals, bus drivers, substitute teachers, school nurses, and custodians.
Use the oversight authority of the Superintendent’s office to reduce unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy that prevent teachers from doing their jobs and increase burnout.
Encourage the passage of legislation to reform teacher contracts, and advise districts to work with staff members to provide working conditions which make them want to stay, instead of compelling them to stay by revoking teaching certificates.
The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated many issues with school environments that existed before, and has also created new issues and needs in our schools. As Superintendent, Lisa will
Use Department of Education resources to equitably distribute medical supplies such as PPE, if needed.
Work with health experts to give districts clear and consistent guidance on adopting responses to emerging health crises, including addressing permanent facilities issues such as ventilation.
Solicit the ideas and advice of experts working within schools, as well as parents and community members, to identify and address issues.
Lisa will support the continued use of existing South Carolina Department of Education and school district policies and procedures to adopt texts and curricula, with updates to those policies and procedures as necessary. Lisa believes that
Teachers should be able to teach to state standards without fear of politically-motivated punishment or censorship.
Students should have access to appropriate texts that reflect their diverse lived experiences and those of their classmates and community members.
The whole of United States history should be taught.
In addition to the need for mental health services, South Carolina schools need work when it comes to the safety of students and staff. As superintendent, Lisa will
Support funding to provide enough staff to fully supervise each campus.
Work with the General Assembly and districts to prioritize and fund facilities upgrades, such as effective exterior and classroom door locks and controlled access points, which are research-supported ways to make buildings more secure.
Work with districts to create and disseminate research-supported educational materials for parents and communities to promote safe firearm storage.
While teachers from all specializations are increasingly reporting burnout, with many leaving the profession, special education teachers face specific challenges that need special attention. As Superintendent, Lisa will
Conduct a review of 504 and IEP accommodations throughout the state, to ensure that the General Assembly, South Carolina Department of Education, and local districts are doing everything in their power to fully fund and support special education programs and meet the needs of all students.
Conduct a review of Least Restrictive Environment to ensure our students are being served in the program that addresses their individual needs and provides them the most exposure to general education.
Conduct a review of special education staffing throughout the state, in order to help districts prioritize the hiring of special education teachers and aides.
Encourage districts to raise pay for aides in order to attract and retain the best people to work with our students.
Push districts to reevaluate the assignments of extra duties for special education teachers and aides, and to add additional planning time and breaks for those staff members.
Student safety and academic progress can’t be achieved without attention to student health, including mental health, yet currently many schools do not have even one dedicated counselor. Academics are vitally important, but the well-being of students should always be our top priority. As superintendent, Lisa would
Support state funding to allow every district to hire and provide continuing professional development for mental health professionals, social workers, and school nurses.
Push for funding increases to bring SC schools up to the nationally- recommended student-to-counselor ratio.
Advocate for research-based district policies to support LGBTQ+ youth, who are among the most statistically at risk group for adverse mental health outcomes.
Encourage schools to develop robust extra-curricular programs to provide students with opportunities to develop the soft skills often requested by the business community, and to interact positively with their peers.
See how you can get involved by getting in touch today.