Haley: Education funding must be priority yearly - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Haley: Education funding must be priority yearly

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Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WIS) - Gov. Nikki Haley is reminding lawmakers that passage of her education funding plan is just the first step of a multi-year effort.

Haley celebrated Monday her plan's inclusion in the Legislature's budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1. But she reiterated that the additional money is not a one-year fix.

"We knew if we threw a proposal out there, it would get shot at," Haley said.

Monday she told the crowd of educators at Logan Elementary in Columbia the initiative had overwhelming support in both the house and the senate.

"You could say this is the year of education," she said. "Education is key if we want to keep moving forward."

And Haley says the initiative's goal is to move South Carolina's poor and rural districts forward- leveling the playing field with districts in Richland, Charleston, or Greenville Counties.

"Increasing access to technology, $29 million to that effort," Dyisha Taylor, a teaching and learning coach with Orangeburg District 5. "That translates to $450,000 to my district, Orangeburg District 5, that allows us to put tablets and laptops, and iPads in the hands of our students."

Governor Haley's plan splits $58 million down the middle. The first $29 million going to technology funding, the other $29 million to literacy programs-- including reading coaches for each elementary school in the state.

"The dollars initially are a good amount, but there's a lot more work to be done,"said Beth Branham with the SCSBA.

Some programs, while they got more money, didn't get what they had initially hoped for.

The governor's initial budget had other popular programs like 4K receiving $15 million,  just under $10 million less than what the Senate had proposed which is why educators say the initiative is good- but it's not the total solution.

"Make education reform a yearly challenge. You don't stop here," Branham said.

Her education recommendations sailed through the budget process, as both the House and Senate adopted them.

The spending plan sent to Haley's desk Thursday gives more money to students in poor, rural districts without taking money away from other districts. It spends more on poor students as well as on children whose primary language isn't English.

It also provides more money for elementary school reading coaches and for technology upgrades.

Haley has through Wednesday to issue line-item vetoes.

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