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S.C. House Passes Gov. Nikki Haley K-12 Education Reform Initiative

web posted March 13, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov. Nikki Haley joined Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Brian White, Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee Phil Owens, and Subcommittee Chairman of Public Education Kenny Bingham, on Wednesday in applauding the South Carolina House of Representatives’ passage of her K-12 Education Reform Initiative.

The budget passed by the House today includes every major component of Gov. Haley’s initiative announced earlier this year – a simpler and more equitable funding formula, $30 million to hire reading coaches in every South Carolina elementary school, and $29 million to improve technology and internet capabilities in schools – the tools and supports students need in order to succeed.

“What I’m most excited about, what I really want to celebrate today is that the South Carolina House has followed our lead and said we are no longer going to education children based on where they live,” said Gov. Haley. “We are now going to start educating children based on the fact that they all deserve to know what the American Dream feels like, they deserve to know what success feels like. The House has done its part to pass this historic reform, it’s now time for the Senate to do the same.”

“Governor Haley pledged to address K-12 education in her State of the State address and we worked long and hard with the governor and her staff in getting this accomplished,” said Chairman Brian White. “It wasn't just a Republican group, it was Republicans and Democrats who made it easy to implement this plan. We all know the governor’s a rock star for economic development and you got to have a trained workforce in order to recruit new companies and this education plan is part of that.”

As announced in 2013 State of the State address, and in recognition that real education reform would need to be driven from the bottom up instead of top down, the Gov. Haley spent 2013 pursuing a bipartisan “Education Conversation” with the individuals, groups, and organizations from all corners of the state most closely involved in educating South Carolina’s children.

The governor’s K-12 Education Reform Initiative is a direct product of these conversations and reflects the idea that it is time for South Carolina to take significant steps towards transforming its schools and educational system, ensuring all children are being equally prepared for college or careers.

“It started with Governor Haley's State of the State address when she said that education was going to be a priority,” said Representative Kenny Bingham. “When the governor puts her stamp of approval on something, when she leads the effort, when she's inclusive like she was, it makes transformation possible, and without that, transformation is not possible. This was a heavy lift because this is a historic change and it was brought about by the governor’s leadership and I'm thankful for that and the state of South Carolina should be thankful to her – K-12 is the big winner in this year’s budget.”

“Under Governor Haley’s leadership, we were able to come together and push forward education reform that we can all be proud of,” said Chairman Phil Owens. “Governor Haley listened to the people in her education conversations and the issues brought up to her have now been addressed in the budget that the House has just approved. It is, indeed, a great day for public education in South Carolina.”

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