Schools are the foundation for success in our district, state and country. It is imperative that our schools give our children the latest and best tools they need to succeed in society and in business. Our district is blessed with some of the most caring and professional educators. Abbeville County Schools consistently rank in the top 10% of state public schools in test scores in spite of many obstacles. This is indicative of the experience and dedication of our teachers and the entire school district.
Both of my daughters attended the Abbeville public schools from kindergarten through high school. My daughter Leah earned a B.S. in Nursing from Clemson University. My daughter Anna earned a B.S. in Nursing from Lander University. I feel they were well prepared by the education they received here in our school district. I believe in our public schools.
Schools are for the students. Access to greater educational opportunities allows them to develop a greater understanding of our world and how it works.
Funding of our schools is of particular interest to all taxpayers and parents. Without proper funds, schools can neither attract nor retain the best teachers. The same follows for educational tools in the classroom.
The disparity between schools in wealthier communities and our poorer (largely rural) school districts has come to the forefront through a lawsuit filed some 20+ years ago – Abbeville vs. SC. The lawsuit states, in essence, that children from the less affluent school districts do not receive an adequate education as mandated by SC law. The State Supreme Court agreed. So, changes must be made to satisfy the law. Since then, the K-12 funding formula has been amended to help our rural schools. Although not complete, it is a step in the right direction.
Since funding comes from our tax revenues via sales taxes, property taxes, etc. It is also imperative that the legislature, Department of Education and local school districts be good stewards with these funds. Finding innovative ways to make the most of our limited resources is essential to the success of our schools.