In addition to sound principles of governance and funding as conducive to effective education, LWVSC also supports:
Early Childhood – 12
23. The provisions of the Education Finance Act (EFA) and the Education Improvement Act (EIA) which provide compulsory (K - 12), effective, equitable and accountable education to all students.
24. Effective partnerships between schools and parents, the community, and business.
25. Ample variation in curriculum to meet individual educational needs of all students.
26. Continued offering of full day kindergarten, expansion of full day 4-K to all area of the state, and expansion of pre-school with small class size, low pupil-teacher ratio, aides and developmentally appropriate programs, and with parental choice of full day or half day.
27. Offering to educators a wide variety of support before and during evaluation.
28. Elimination of corporal punishment, with the promotion of more effective and positive methods of discipline.
29. Early identification of students who are at risk for dropping out of school.
30. Recognizing that the teacher is the most important school-based component of academic achievement, school districts should implement a comprehensive teacher evaluation. The fair and comprehensive evaluation system should:
a. Assure that all teachers are evaluated on a regular basis;
b. Include three or more qualitative rating categories to identify and retain effective teachers (for example, categories of: Highly Effective, Effective, Needs Improvement, rather than letter grades);
c. Include student progress as one of the factors used for rating teacher effectiveness;
d. Use clearly defined, widely accepted standards, and consistent, well-trained evaluators;
e. Use teachers in developing and implementing the evaluation system;
f. Provide feedback to teachers to help them develop skills and support decisions for retention, dismissal and assignments;
g. Be equitably and fully funded across the state’s public school systems.
31. The establishment and expansion of research programs to include those having a direct, positive impact on economic development, education, health or welfare in this state.
32. Availability of a variety of adult education programs and classes (such as literacy, English as a second language, pre-GED and GED preparation, high school diploma, computer literacy, career readiness), as well as on-line and virtual learning programs, to meet respective needs of South Carolina’s diverse population.
33. Local adult education partnerships with higher education and technical education institutions, as well as businesses, community organizations, and other government entities to assist in carrying out the mission of adult education.
34. Available child development facilities and care for children of adult education parents while they are attending adult education classes.
35. Available, affordable transportation assistance to/from adult education sites for adult education students.
36. Access to adult education classes in a wide variety of community locations, including State Department of Corrections facilities, city and county jails, vocational rehabilitation centers, and One Stop Centers.
All levels (EC - 12, Post Secondary, Adult Education)
37. Effective administration, leadership and management, with strict quality controls.
Public Charter Schools
38. Constitutionality: Charter Schools should be under the control of publicly elected or publicly appointed school officials. They may receive public funding only if they meet constitutional requirements to qualify as public schools. They must be non-religious and non-sectarian in programs, admissions policies and employment practices.
39. Equal Access: Charter Schools must maintain racial and ethnic balance unless imbalances are justified by a special program. They must not practice discrimination based on disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, need for special education, or economic status. Free transportation must be provided within the territorial jurisdiction of the Charter School. There should be no requirements for parental participation or support which might limit access for minority or disadvantaged students.
40. Accountability: Charter Schools must be accountable in terms of stated learning objectives, methods of assessment, and reporting of assessment results. They must regularly report to the public on the use of funds. The South Carolina Public Charter School District must be the approving body for charter school applications but there should be an appeals process for a denied or revoked Charter School application.
Related national positions: Social Policy, Meeting Basic Human Needs
Background/Action: Adult Education positions were studied in 2005-2007 and adopted in 2007. Item #6 under GOVERNANCE is based on a state LWV study of school district structure and governance and was adopted at convention in 2011. Item #30 under Effective Education is the result of consensus based on a state wide LWV study of evaluation and retention of effective teachers in public schools in SC, and was adopted at the 2013 state convention. In 2015 number 2 was amended to provide for public election of the Secretary of Education. The title “Charter Schools” was amended to read “Public Charter Schools. In 2015, number 40 was amended to refer to the South Carolina Public Charter School District. In 2017, number 2 was amended to provide for appointment of the Secretary of Education and to describe minimum qualifications for the position. In 2017 Number 19 was amended to specify forms of financial assistance for private schools not supported by the League.
LWVSC's statement on the SC Supreme Court's ruling to end Abbeville Education Case (2017):
"The LWVSC supports efforts to make a high quality education available to all students in SC. The Abbeville case has been an important attempt to address that. Now that the Supreme Court has ended the Abbeville case, it is especially important that the General Assembly act responsibly to fulfill the needs of our children. Efforts to date have been promising, but most of the needed work remains to be done. We hope to see a genuine commitment to meaningful action from our legislators when they return to Columbia."