This statutory database is current through the 2003 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2004, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.
Title 59 - Education
SUBJECTS OF INSTRUCTION
The county board of education and the board of trustees for each school district shall see that in every school under their care there shall be taught, as far as practicable, orthography, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, English grammar and instruction in phonics, the elements of agriculture, the history of the United States and of this State, the principles of the Constitutions of the United States and of this State, morals and good behavior, algebra, physiology and hygiene (especially as to the effects of alcoholic liquors and narcotics upon the human system), English literature, and such other branches as the state board may from time to time direct.
Required subjects; nature and effect of alcoholic drinks and narcotics.
The nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics and special instruction as to their effect upon the human system shall be taught in all the grammar and high schools of this State which receive any State aid whatsoever and shall be studied and taught as thoroughly and in the same manner as all other required branches in such schools, as may be required by the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education shall provide for the enforcement of the provisions of this section.
Guidelines for career guidance.
The State Department of Education is directed to develop guidelines to include career guidance as a part of the general guidance program in the schools of the State.
Required subjects; Alcohol and Narcotics Education Week.
Each public school of the State shall designate one week during the school year for the observance of Alcohol and Narcotics Education Week. During this week, each district board of trustees shall require the school principal or other designated person to have each class from the sixth grade upward instructed for at least thirty minutes on three days concerning the risks and dangers involved in the use of alcoholic beverages and narcotics. The principal, or such other designated person, shall also have at least one assembly session during the week of not less than forty-five minutes, at which time the subject of the dangerous effect of alcohol and narcotics shall be presented.
The district board of trustees shall each year inform the State Board of Education of the week each public school in its district has designated as Alcohol and Narcotics Education Week, and the State Board of Education shall, through the Department of Education, provide suitable printed materials and other aids for use in the observance of the week.
Home school awareness week; admission privileges.
To recognize the many families in South Carolina who educate their children at home as provided by law, each year the first full week in October is designated and shall be recognized as "South Carolina Home School Awareness Week". During "South Carolina Home School Awareness Week", all home school students in this State and their parents or guardians who serve as their children's teacher shall be provided the same admission opportunities to any educational facilities owned by or under the control of this State or any state agency, department, or institution as are provided to public or private school students and their teachers. In addition during Home School Awareness Week, educational facilities, not including public school facilities, owned or under the control of a local political subdivision or entity also shall provide the same admission opportunities as are provided to public or private school students and their teachers.
Only during Home School Awareness Week shall these affected educational facilities provide the same special admission opportunities to home schooled students and their parents or guardians who serve as the students' teachers as they do to public or private school students and their teachers.
Required subjects; films depicting nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics; special instruction as to their effect.
Films depicting the nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics and special instructions as to their effect upon the human system shall be taught in all the junior high and high schools of this State and shall be studied and taught as thoroughly and in the same manner as all other required branches in such schools, as may be required by the State Board of Education. Such films shall be presented at orientation programs of all State-supported institutions of higher learning. The South Carolina Television Center shall make available to such schools and institutions television programs and films with commentary relative to such subject matter and the school shall require each student enrolled therein to view such program or film. The State Board of Education or the college or university officials, as the case may be, shall provide for the enforcement of the provisions of this section.
Required subjects; traffic laws.
The State Department of Education and the trustees of the State institutions of higher learning shall establish and require to be taught in the respective schools under their control a course of instruction on the traffic laws of this State. Such course of instruction shall be by lectures.
Instruction on Black history.
The State Board of Education shall examine the current status of the teaching of South Carolina History. By the 1989-1990 school year, each public school of the State must instruct students in the history of the black people as a regular part of its history and social studies courses. The State Board of Education shall establish regulations for the adoption of history and social studies textbooks which incorporate black history and shall, through the State Department of Education, assist the school districts in developing and locating suitable printed materials and other aids for instruction in black history. The State Board of Education shall examine curricular material for grades 1-6 to determine the level of emphasis on the relationship of agriculture and other industries to the South Carolina economy.
Required subjects; program of safety instruction.
A definite program of safety instruction shall be included in the curriculum and provided in each primary and elementary grade in the public schools of the State.
Required subjects; instruction in fire prevention.
The State Board of Education shall provide for instruction in fire prevention in the elementary public schools of the State. Each teacher in a public school of this State shall give such instruction in fire prevention as may be prescribed by the State Board.
Courses in physical education; ROTC programs.
(A) There shall be established and provided in all the public schools of this State physical education, training and instruction of pupils of both sexes, and every pupil attending any school, in so far as he is physically fit and able to do so, shall take the course or courses provided by this section. Suitable modified courses shall be provided for students physically or mentally unable or unfit to take the course or courses prescribed for normal pupils. However, in any public school which offers a military or naval ROTC program sponsored by one of the military services of the United States, training in such a program may be deemed equivalent to physical education instruction, and may be accepted in lieu of such instruction for all purposes, academic or nonacademic, as may hereinafter be provided.
(B) A student may be exempted from physical education requirements by seeking a waiver from the local school board of trustees. The local board may grant such a request based on the following criteria:
(1) The student must present a statement by his attending physician indicating that participation in physical education will jeopardize the student's health and well-being; or
(2)(a) The parent and student must show that the student's attending physical education classes will violate their religious beliefs and would not be merely a matter of personal objection; and
(b) the parent or student must be members of a recognized religious faith that objects to physical education as part of its official doctrine or creed.
The local board shall encourage the student to take, as an alternative to physical education, appropriate instruction in health education or other instruction in lifestyle modification if an exemption is granted pursuant to this section.
Physical education courses in teacher training colleges.
All colleges, schools and other educational institutions in this State giving teacher training shall provide a course or courses in physical education, training and instruction, and every pupil attending any such college, school or educational institution in preparation for teaching service shall take such course or courses.
Supervision of administration of physical education program by State Superintendent of Education.
The State Superintendent of Education shall supervise the administration of Section 59-29-80 and shall prescribe the necessary course or courses in physical education, training, and instruction. Beginning with school year 1995-96, the required physical education course in the secondary schools shall occur over two semesters. For one semester, a personal fitness and wellness component must be taught and for one semester a lifetime fitness component must be taught either over the semester or in two nine-week divisions. The State Board of Education is authorized to promulgate regulations and prepare or cause to be prepared, published, and distributed a manual of instruction, courses of study, or other matters as it considers necessary or suitable to carry out the provisions of this section.
Instruction in military science and tactics.
The board of trustees of any State high school district may, with the approval and consent of the county board of education, provide for theoretical and practical instruction and training in military science and tactics in their high school, prescribe the grades in which such instruction and training shall be given and provide the necessary instructors and materials for the same. The State Board of Education shall establish and promulgate proper and suitable rules and regulations governing such instructions and training, and the Adjutant General shall assist and cooperate with the State Board of Education in the preparation of suitable rules and regulations to govern and control such instruction and training in State high schools and shall exercise such supervision and control of such instruction and training as the State Board of Education may approve and require. Any such high school may, under such rules and regulations as the State Board of Education may prescribe, install and maintain United States junior reserve officers training corps units.
Study of United States Constitution requisite for graduation; attendance at veteran's activities.
(A) All high schools, colleges, and universities in this State that are sustained or in any manner supported by public funds shall give instruction in the essentials of the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers, including the study of and devotion to American institutions and ideals, and no student in any such school, college, or university may receive a certificate of graduation without previously passing a satisfactory examination upon the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers, and, if a citizen of the United States, satisfying the examining power of his loyalty thereto.
(B) On November eleventh of each year which is a legal holiday in this State as provided by Section 53-5-10 to commemorate and honor veterans, all elementary, middle, and high schools in this State if they are open, shall devote at least one hour of the school day in either classroom instruction or at a student body assembly program to study the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. If any such school is not open on November eleventh, this instruction or assembly program must be given on the day the school is open immediately preceding November eleventh.
(C) On November eleventh of each year, schools may permit students to attend activities to commemorate and honor veterans that are held at locations within their respective counties. The parent of a student seeking to be excused pursuant to this subsection shall provide prior written consent to the appropriate school personnel. Attendance at such activities shall count as a part of the instructional day for purposes of Section 59-1-440.
Duration of instruction in essentials of United States Constitution.
The instruction provided for in Section 59-29-120 shall be given for at least one year of the high school, college and university grades, respectively.
Enforcement of program of study of United States Constitution by State Superintendent.
The State Superintendent of Education shall make due arrangements for carrying out the provisions of Sections 59-29-120 and 59-29-130. For such purpose the State Superintendent shall prescribe suitable texts adapted to the needs of the high schools, universities and colleges for the instruction required under Sections 59-29-120 and 59-29-130.
Failure to comply with requirements for program of study of United States Constitution as cause for dismissal.
Willful neglect or failure on the part of any public school superintendent, principal or teacher or the president, teacher or other officer of any high school, normal school, university or college to observe and carry out the requirements of Sections 59-29-120 to 59-29-140 shall be sufficient cause for the dismissal or removal of such person from his position.
Two units of mathematics requisite for graduation.
Every student in an accredited high school in this State shall, as a prerequisite to graduation therefrom, successfully complete at least two units of work in the field of mathematics.
Instruction in personal finance.
All students attending a high school in this State that is sustained or in any manner supported by public funds must receive instruction in the area of personal finance. The State Department of Education will assist the school districts in identifying suitable materials for instruction.
Programs for talented students.
Not later than August 15, 1987, gifted and talented students at the elementary and secondary levels must be provided programs during the regular school year or during summer school to develop their unique talents in the manner the State Board of Education must specify and to the extent state funds are provided. The Education Oversight Committee shall study the implementation of this section and report its findings to the General Assembly by July 1, 1986. By August 15, 1984, the State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations establishing the criteria for student eligibility in Gifted and Talented Programs. The funds appropriated for Gifted and Talented Programs under the Education Improvement Act of 1984 must be allocated to the school districts of the State on the basis that the number of gifted and talented students served in each district bears to the total of all those students in the State. However, districts unable to identify more than forty students using the selection criteria established by regulations of the State Board of Education shall receive fifteen thousand dollars annually. Provided, further, school districts shall serve gifted and talented students according to the following order of priority: (1) grades 3-12 academically identified gifted and talented students not included in the state-funded Advanced Placement Program for eleventh and twelfth grade students; (2) after all students eligible under priority one are served, students in grades 3-12 identified in one of the following visual and performing arts areas: dance, drama, music, and visual arts must be served; and (3) after all students eligible under priorities one and two are served, students in grades 1 and 2 identified as academically or artistically gifted and talented must be served. All categories of students identified and served shall be funded at a weight of .30 for the base student cost as provided in Chapter 20 of this title. Where funds are insufficient to serve all students in a given category, the district may determine which students within the category shall be served. Provided, further, no district shall be prohibited from using local funds to serve additional students above those for whom state funds are provided.
Identification of higher order thinking and problem solving skills.
The State Board of Education shall establish a committee, which includes, but is not limited to, personnel from the State Department of Education, school districts, and institutions of higher education. The purpose of the committee shall be to assist the State Board of Education in the identification of the dimensions of thinking which shall constitute "higher order thinking and problem solving" for purposes of Sections 59-26-30(b)(3), 59-26-30(b)(7), 59-26-30(j), 59-29-179, 59-29-180, 59-29-181, 59-29-182, 59-29-183, 59-30-110, and 59-31-600.
Emphasis on higher order problem solving skills.
The State Department of Education and all school districts shall emphasize higher order problem solving skills in curricula at all levels. The State Department of Education shall assist the school districts by locating, developing, and advising the districts on the development of materials and other aids which may be used to teach higher order problem solving skills within existing subjects.
Selection of tests for statewide testing program.
When selecting nationally normed achievement tests for the statewide testing program, the State Board of Education shall endeavor to select tests with a sufficient number of items which may be utilized to evaluate student's higher order thinking skills. The items may be used for this purpose only if the test created from the items meets applicable criteria set forth in the American Psychological Association publication "Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing".
Review of procedures to assess higher order thinking and problem solving skills.
The State Board of Education shall review the use of procedures to assess student achievement in higher order thinking and problem solving skills which are different from traditional achievement tests.
In-service training programs.
The State Department of Education shall develop or select in-service training programs for teachers and staff in teaching higher order thinking and problem solving as part of the existing curriculum. Upon funding for district implementation of the program by the General Assembly, the State Department of Education shall ensure that each school district implements teacher in-service training in higher order thinking and problem solving on a schedule to train all teachers and staff within five years.
Advanced placement courses for academically talented students.
Each school district shall provide advanced placement courses in all secondary schools of the district which enroll an adequate number of academically talented students to support the course. By August 15, 1984, the State Board of Education by regulation shall specify what constitutes an advanced placement course and an adequate number of students for these programs. A student who successfully completes the advanced placement requirements for a course and who receives a score of three or higher on the advanced placement exam shall receive advanced placement credit for the course in each post-secondary public college in South Carolina in the manner specified by the Commission on Higher Education in conjunction with the State Board of Education.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of the South Carolina Education Improvement Act of 1984, no school district with a student population in excess of 9,000 shall receive any remediation funds appropriated hereunder unless each language arts and mathematics class in grades seven through twelve has in 1984-85 a pupil-teacher ratio of thirty students per teacher or less, in 1985-86 a pupil-teacher ratio of twenty-eight students per teacher or less, and in 1986-87, and thereafter, a pupil-teacher ratio of twenty-five to one or less.
Emphasis on teaching as profession.
The Governor's schools for talented high school students and the gifted and talented programs shall emphasize the importance of the teaching profession.
Arts education curricula.
The State Board of Education, in conjunction with the South Carolina Arts Commission, shall plan and develop discipline-based arts education curricula in the visual arts, music, dance, and drama which complies with the State Department of Education discipline-based arts education curriculum framework. The State Board of Education shall cause the arts education curricula to be pilot tested in selected school districts during 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, and 1992-93 and shall provide teacher in-service training programs for arts specialists and classroom teachers.
After pilot testing, the State Board of Education shall establish regulations related to in-service training and curriculum development in cooperation with the Arts in Basic Curriculum Steering Committee and after consultation with the Education Oversight Committee. These regulations shall encourage innovation and flexibility and reflect the integrity of instruction required by each arts discipline. These regulations must be developed in cooperation with school and district-level teachers and administrators.
Funds for the program must be used by the school districts to:
(1) plan, develop, and implement discipline-based arts education curricula in the visual arts, music, dance, or drama compatible with the State Department of Education discipline-based arts education curriculum framework;
(2) provide teacher in-service training programs for arts specialists or appropriate classroom teachers or both which are approved by the State Department of Education working with the state's colleges and universities;
(3) hire certified arts specialists or contract with professional artists approved by the South Carolina Arts Commission to assist certified arts specialists or appropriate classroom teachers or both in planning, developing, and implementing discipline-based arts education curricula.
The Joint Legislative Study Committee on Formula Funding shall review whether or not arts education should be given a weighting under the Education Finance Act, if appropriate, recommend a weighting, and report to the Education Oversight Committee by December 1, 1990. The General Assembly shall phase in the arts education program and funding for the arts education program after piloting over three years in substantially equal annual intervals.