(Statewide) Aug. 12, 2005 - WIS has been covering some of the conditions in South Carolina's rural schools.
We've seen and heard about holes in floors, leaky roofs, even sewage coming up through the drains in hallways, and many viewers and site users have e-mailed us in response. Some asked questions, and News 10 has looked for answers.
SS from Cassat writes, "We have a lottery but most of the proceeds go to colleges. This is really crazy if you ask me. How are the colleges supposed to get students if they can't get a decent education in elementary, middle and high school?"
The lottery was originally designed to help fund higher education in South Carolina. Although since it began, lawmakers have earmarked some lottery money for kindergarten through 12th grade. Last year higher education got $227 million from the lottery. Kindergarten through 12th grade got $102.8 million.
FD from Irmo guesses the question should actually be "What does Inez and Governor Sanford think about the condition of our schools. They are the individuals in charge of these areas?"
On Friday the governor's office said, "Governor Sanford has said consistently that there are a whole lot of teachers and principals out there working very hard to educate our state's children. Unfortunately, not enough of the dollars spent on education are making it to the classroom - the frontlines of education where those dollars mean the most."
"The Governor has advocated a number of reforms that would make a material difference in getting more financial resources into the classroom. Giving districts more flexibility in how they spend money and giving more educational choices to parents."
Tenenbaum said South Carolina has made a significant investment in public schools since the Education Accountability Act was passed in 1998, and one result is that we now lead the nation in increased scores on the SAT and federal standardized tests. But even with those dramatic improvements, a lot of work remains to be done. Superintendent Tenenbaum thinks the foundation is in place to keep moving forward.
JF from Columbia writes, "I've tried looking up websites, but none really mention the circumstances some of these schools are in. I'm glad people are getting to see this environment some children are in, but where and how can they get results?"
You can always email or call your State House representative or senator. Also, WIS plans to continue looking inside South Carolina's schools.
Reported by Craig Melvin