FundingPosition: The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees urges the General Assembly to establish as its top legislative priority the adoption of a simplified, predictable, equitable funding structure for K-12 that will ensure a quality public education for all students, regardless of the economic condition of their community.
Rationale: The current funding structure for pre-K-12 was established when textile manufacturing dominated the state’s economy. Under the current structure, it is almost impossible for poorer districts to compete financially with affluent districts, creating significant educational disparities. The adoption of Act 388, which shifted the emphasis for pre-K-12 funding from the property tax to the sales tax, simply exacerbated an already bad situation. The fact that there are over 70 separate funding streams for pre-K-12 education makes it difficult for districts to tailor programs to meet the specific needs of their student populations.
4K ProgramsPosition: The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees strongly supports state funding to ensure that all four year-olds in South Carolina have the opportunity to attend an accredited 4K program.
Rationale: Research is clear that early childhood education has a significant positive impact on long-term academic success. Such success will help to increase graduation rates, decrease costs for remedial services, and help students to be more prepared for the needs of a 21st century economy and for further education.
Restrictions on School District CalendarsPosition: The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees supports the end of state restrictions on when the school year can begin.
Rationale: The current state law that does not permit a school district to start school until the third Monday in August is at the very least counter-productive from an instructional standpoint because it does not allow for maximum instructional time before state testing. It also prevents a district from finishing first semester by Christmas, which makes a great deal of sense instructionally. Local school districts should have the latitude to work with communities to develop school year calendars that meet the needs and preferences of a local community.