Get Money to Teachers and to the Classroom -- Quality education is the most valuable gift that one generation can give to the next. Such a system also provides the entrepreneurs and the workers needed to build new businesses and to create jobs that will sustain our economy and a high standard of living for the future. We must find ways to attract and to retain quality teachers. I also support a top to bottom analysis of our public education system to ensure that money is not being wasted in bureaucracy. We must get money to the student and the teacher in the classroom. One way we can do this is through consolidation of school districts across our state. I will not abandon public education in South Carolina.
Invest in Technical Education -- One of the reasons why our state has a difficult time recruiting new industry is that we do not have enough skilled workers to fill certain industry needs. We must support our technical college system. We must also support more work force training in our public K-12 schools. This means working with businesses to create meaningful apprenticeship programs in vocational/technical schools that prepare students to get a job upon graduation if that is their choice. I will support technical education.
Increase Safety and Discipline in the Classroom -- A business would not tolerate disruptive behavior because it breeds failure. Our schools should do the same. Teachers should be given more control over their classrooms and allowed to remove disruptive and problem students. Our state should have a zero tolerance policy against gangs, drugs, and weapons in schools. We must increase penalties on any school worker convicted of sexually assaulting a child. We also must find ways to fund more resource officers in our schools across the state. I will support measures to make our schools safe and orderly so our children can learn.
Emphasize Reading at the Earliest Age in our School System -- Reading is the key to success. Our high school drop out rate is one of the worst in the country. More than half of all inmates in our state prison system are not high school graduates. Drop outs from high school are more likely to end up in the criminal justice system. How do we attack this problem? We have to make sure that all students can read. If a student cannot read, then that student cannot learn and will not want to attend school day in and day out. I support both measures and efforts to emphasize reading success at the earliest age in our school system. This includes finding ways to provide early childhood education to more children. We also have to support our public library system and encourage children to read during the summer vacation through summer reading programs.