Governor Haley speaks about education reform - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Governor Haley speaks about education reform

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Wednesday afternoon Governor Nikki Haley announced her education reform proposal.

Haley has been criticized in the past for her heavy cuts to the education budget but today she wanted to pump more than $150 million in total back into the system.

Haley's talking points include how much money she wants in poverty districts and how much to go towards technology in the classroom.

She wants $30 million in funding to allow most schools to have wireless internet, computers and iPads. That's a drastic change for some schools like the one she mentioned touring in Bamburg where there wasn't even technology to play a video.

"That's immoral, that's wrong. We can't say we're going to continue to educate students based on where they're born and raised," she said.

The needs of some less developed schools doesn't stop at technology.
 Dillon, South Carolina was used as a national example of such a rural school in 2008 when a letter written by Ty'Sheoma Bethea gained attention from President Obama, and eventually received grants to repair the struggling school.

For others facing similar struggles, not much has been done.

Public schools mostly get money from property taxes, which can leave rural, less developed areas lacking equipment and working in undesirable conditions.

Wednesday morning the South Carolina Education Association told News 2, "A major conversation has to be held on restructuring taxes to have more even distribution."

President of SCEA, Jackie Hicks said, the state needs to look at what's available and give more to districts where citizens can't spend money on schools.

In the governor's announcement, she proposed giving $100 million to poverty districts and weighing per pupil expenses heavier on low income students. Haley said she wants a 20% increase in funds for those students, which only means that would give more money to the schools to spend per student.

"This is important to make sure our kids have a chance," Haley said. She also noted a number of businesses hiring in the state and added we should want those businesses to know South Carolina is investing in their future.
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