Rebecca Niess Cingolani for South Carolina House of Representatives District 110

Education

We have many quality schools in Charleston County and across the state. Yet South Carolina has far too many schools that are failing to equip students with the education they need to succeed and achieve a better life. Systemic inequities, related in part to equal funding per student, contribute to socioeconomic disparities in student outcomes. In order to provide equitable education, we must start by taking care of our teachers, fully funding K-12 education, and bridging educational gaps for adults.

  • I hear teachers loud and clear when they express their concern for the $26 billion deficit in the South Carolina Teacher’s Retirement Fund. One of my highest priorities is developing a comprehensive plan to rectify this deficit. In addition, the public deserves to understand how this transpired in order to prevent future similar occurrences. Oversight should include educators and finance specialists regularly monitoring and strategizing the future of the Teacher’s Retirement Fund.
  • SC needs a cohesive plan to recruit and keep teachers. In areas of South Carolina where the living wage is higher than teacher’s salary, housing options/subsidies should be part of teacher’s compensation. Our teachers should be a part of the community. Likewise, in rural areas, teacher’s compensation should include student loan credits with a commitment to teach for a certain number of years.
  • Let’s start a dialogue with surrounding states to develop a stream-lined teacher transfer system. It is unreasonable in this day and age to expect teachers to remain in a singular state for their entire career. As we offer our educators more robust reasons to teach in South Carolina, we will recruit the type of talent needed to allow our children and adults the platform to excel.
  • Partnering with more local high-tech manufacturing companies to create job opportunities for high school and college graduates in Charleston.
  • Our education challenge does not stop at high school. To ensure the long-term stability of our workforce, we must improve and expand higher education degree offerings and worker training programs.
  • Trade school education needs greater investment, particularly plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and entrepreneurship. Partnering with trade associations to create apprenticeships and better classroom/shop instruction will organically create job opportunities for high school and adult students.