SC has made gains in K-12 education in recent years, but we still have significant hurdles to clear for our students to be able to complete in the global job market. I believe that a student's success is dependent on several factors: their commitment, their parents' commitment, and teachers who can interest them in the subject matter. If any of these things are lacking, then students will likely not reach their potential.
The government's responsibility is mostly confined to what our education system can do for students during the 180 days a year it has them in school. To this end, I have supported merit pay for teachers, higher pay for teachers' education advancement, full day kindergarten, and the 1998 state bond bill which was used to construct many of the new schools in York and Lancaster counties.
One of my primary interests has been the teaching of financial literacy. As a result of a bill I passed, all students are now taught a two-week course on this subject as a part of the economics class requirement in high school. After all, why get an education to get a job to earn money if one is not trained in how to manage money?
Currently, I understand that Act 388 has not worked out as was expected. I do not agree with the legislature's decision not to have this act included in the tax issues studied by the TRAC Commission. Clearly, our tax system in SC is unbalanced and full of holes and exemptions. I do not favor and will not support a general tax increase. However, I believe that the General Assembly has a responsibility to rebalance the tax code for the modern age in which we live.