Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
The Senate assembled at 11:00 A.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the ACTING PRESIDENT, Senator HARPOOTLIAN.
The following remarks by Senator STEPHENS were ordered printed in the Journal of January 17, 2023:
Thank you, Mr. PRESIDENT, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate. As you all know, today we will start the debate on vouchers in South Carolina. Let me just say, that I am proud to be a proponent of public education in South Carolina. I served approximately 19 years with the Orangeburg County School Board and Orangeburg County School District.
I've learned that we need to educate students so that we can enable them to become well-rounded individuals focusing on the whole child, not just a mastery of academic content, and to prepare students to live a productive life and become good citizens. I understand that there are ten major challenges to a good public education. Those challenges are classroom size, poverty, family factors, technology, bullying, students, attitude and behavior, no child left behind, and parent involvement. However, this list is critical to the world-class education experience that we should be giving -- the opportunity for our children to have. I'm hoping that when we start the debate on this issue, we will take these things into consideration. We talk about the possibility of $90 million going to the Voucher Bill. My belief is that if we take that $90 million and we look at the number of teachers we have in our system -- that is just at the minimum amount -- the minimum pay scale, if we look at that comprehensively, and use part of that $90 million to get our teachers up to a $45,000-$46,000 pay scale, I believe you can and will attract good quality teachers in our system. If you take part of that same $90 million and put into academics, those programs that will enhance that delivery of a world class education, we will produce children who are competitive as it relates to the job market. If we take some of that $90 million and we put it toward facilities especially in rural South Carolina, we will put our children in an environment that is conducive to learning.
Now ladies and gentlemen, it is upon us as elected officials, members of the General Assembly, to ensure that public education is given what it needs to adequately and effectively do its job. Over the years, that has not been the case. I agree with the Governor in his budget proposal -- and he is listing education as one of his priorities. There is a lot to be done and I applaud him for taking a stance that education is a priority in South Carolina -- public education, I stress public education -- is a priority in South Carolina. I am asking members of this Body to continue to give public education an opportunity to educate our children so that they can be competitive here and abroad.
On motion of Senator GUSTAFSON, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Ms. Vivian Bracey Metze of Camden, S.C. Vivian was an educator and community activist for over forty years. She became the first African American and the first female to be elected as chair of the Kershaw County School Board where she served for six years. Vivian served as board member for the Junior Achievement of Greater Kershaw County, the Association Commissioner for the Kershaw County Soil and Water Conservation and was a member of Phi Delta Kappa education fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. Vivian was a loving mother and doting grandmother who will be dearly missed.
At 11:04 A.M., on motion of Senator JACKSON, the Senate adjourned to meet next Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at 12:00 P.M.
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