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Statehouse Report Week 6

Communique from SC House GOP Caucus

Education Reform Meeting 

Education reform was once again in the forefront this week. As always, we are grateful and pleased with all of the comments we have received from our community on fixing this issue. We are working hard on both sides of the aisle to make this comprehensive reform bill the best it can be for our students and teachers. 

Over 1,000 teachers, students and other members of the public had the opportunity to give their input on H. 3759 during the K-12 subcommittee meeting on Tuesday night. The subcommittee, and many other Representatives not on the Education Committee, stayed for the entire 5-hour meeting to listen to feedback on different components of the bill. Right now, there are eighty bipartisan cosponsors on the legislation, each of whom are dedicated to providing students with a quality education that prepares them with the skills they need to succeed. (More on education below.) 

Civil Asset Forfeiture 

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation that would change the way civil forfeiture cases are handled. Right now, law enforcement can seize property from residents, sometimes without charging or convicting them of a crime, and then profit from the proceeds. H. 3968 ensures that no person can lose their property unless they are convicted of a crime. 

Tucker Hipps Transparency Act 

The House passed H. 3398 on Wednesday to make the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act permanent. This law requires public institutions of higher education to maintain a report of student misconduct investigations related to fraternity and sorority organizations. 

DUI Driving Law 

In an effort to crack down on drunk driving, the House introduced a bill that will require DUI offenders to have ignition-interlock devices (breathalyzers) in order to start the engine of their cars. Right now, the law in SC requires interlocks for all offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater, but this bill would require offenders with a BAC of .08 or higher to have one in their car. H.3300 is supported by Governor McMaster and Attorney General Alan Wilson and a companion bill is in the Senate as well. 

Facts on Education Reform 

-All teachers will get a raise. The base starting teacher pay will increase to $35,000. All other teachers will receive a raise that will bring them above the Southeastern average with a goal of moving teacher pay to the national average within 5 years. 

-The Zero-to-Twenty Committee is not another oversight committee. It will consist of a unique group of individuals – not bureaucrats – who will monitor our education system from pre-kindergarten to post-graduation and make suggestions to the General Assembly on how to improve the education-to-workforce pipeline. 

-This bill will eliminate 4 of the 6 mandated state assessment test…giving teachers more time for classroom instruction. We will eliminate the 8th grade science test, the 5th and the 7th grade social studies tests, and the U.S. History end-of-course test. Doing away with these tests will save an estimated $3.1 million and allow more time for classroom instruction. 

-This bill allows the elected State Superintendent of Education to remove a principal or teacher as a last resort if, after intensive assistance, a school has chronically underperformed for 3 of the last 4 years. Any teacher or principal can be hired back at the discretion of the State Superintendent of Education. 

For more information on the education reform bill, check out our fact sheet:

5 Comments

  1. John Warner

    -The Zero-to-Twenty Committee is not another oversight committee. It will consist of a unique group of individuals – not bureaucrats.”

    This is Orwellian. Of course it is another layer of bureaucracy that will further fragment the accountability of public education. How is it that Republican leaders believe more non-educator telling teachers how to manage their classrooms is the path to better education. It is as astounding as it is depressing.

  2. Education Reform Meeting

    Will SC finally REMOVE ALL COMMON CORE curriculum from our schools? Though there is a claim that it has been removed, that doesn’t hold water, as the Common Core Books ARE still being utilized.

    This garbage must end, ASAP,

    Yes, I would like a response.

    Alan Chwick
    4449 Stokes Rd
    Greer, SC 29651

  3. Civil Asset Forfeiture

    Civil Asset Forfeiture is an abuse of Due Process. H.3968 is a refreshing fix, IF IT REALLY PROTECTS THE INNOCENT.

    Please keep me apprised of this bill.

    Alan Chwick
    4449 Stokes Rd
    Greer, SC 29651

  4. DUI Driving Law

    Ignition-interlock devices (breathalyzers) are a delightful, and properly required device for DUI issues. But SC laws seem to LACK any Vehicular Manslaughter Laws. WHY IS THIS THE CASE?

    Alan Chwick
    4449 Stokes Rd
    Greer, SC 29651

  5. Susan Milford

    Thanks so much for the Civil Asset Forfeiture Act. It eliminates a criminal act by “legal” investigators. Also thanks for ridding us of the mandated tests. They encouraged “teaching to a test” of revised history and also giving us invalid information on actual historic knowledge. So glad the Legislature has mandated a study of the US Constitution. It’s easy for one who enjoyed the old Government Courses to see how the lack of appreciation for the development of governing papers and the struggles, education, experiences, and wisdom of the founding fathers have played into The Great Experiment’s longevity. This glossy overlook of primary documents and popular debunking of the Founding Fathers is bearing bad fruit; so thanks for this release from politically- motivated brainwashing testing. (There I called it what it is.) George Bush’s greatest problem is that he is too idealistic and kind -not realistic- so “no child left behind” is a cookie-cutter ignoring that all students are different and deserve the fairness of different learning opportunities. We are individually gifted. BTY, have you looked over the government section of our immigration tests lately – it so surpasses those mandated school tests. Our legal immigrants appreciate our freedoms way more than our nationals (especially those from other states). As teacher salaries go up, I need to do some more research on recruiting and educators from other vocations where they don’t have the teaching platforms they would be great with and would become true student advocates. I’m sure there are programs that I am unfamiliar with that would help them get the education courses which they’d need for certification. I think that facing students with poor or no parenting (after all what did they really get in school?) is the biggest deterrent to hiring teachers right now. Gone is the idea that you are “called” intrinsically to teach and will therefore learn and apply before seeing salary statistics. It is an early commitment to make. Yet they are out there. More respect for educators from entertainment media and from parents would make the professionals more comfortable. I am currently in an adult-level ( over 18) Harry Potter discussion group which does one book per month at the Downtown Library. About 30 Millennials, and me, in small rotational discussion groups. The Adult Educational facilitators (30’s age) and the responsible citizen readers are delighting me! There is HOPE. One of the conclusions the reached from Book 1, to which they ascribed was that No Matter What One’s Heredity Or Environment, One Is Ultimately Individually Responsible for One’s Choices! I wasn’t expecting that from the rap they get. Also some lit teachers somewhere are growing up students with some higher level thinking skills as well. Anyhow, thanks for your thoughtful patient work and support of our teachers and librarians for the general welfare of everyone in our state! Go students!

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