There a number of answers to the question of “What is the most important problem in rural education in South Carolina. Large categories were Poverty, lack of qualified teachers, lack of capital to repair or replace buildings and lack of a voice for rural people.
Here a two of the expanded answers to the original question
Here are some of the things that I think will help. Poverty alone brings a set of challenges that affect all of us directly or indirectly.Community leaders must become strong partners with the educational community.
Each school district and community is unique. Respect that and research the needs of the district and community.A comprehensive early learning program with a strong parenting component that begins before the birth of the child.
Funds to secure effective teachers, staff and administrators
Focused monitoring and evaluation of programs
Funding for modern buildings, facilities and technology.
This will not happen overnight,-just some of my ideas.
LACK OF A VOICE
Thanks for posing the question and taking me away from a host of other activities that I really need to attend. However, as important as the work found on my lap top, your question caused me to reflect a moment and, of course, I felt compelled to respond.
You have heard me say many times that the issues facing our schools are systemic--all connected, wide and deep (rooted). But one if there were one magic bullet that can make the greatest difference it is having decision makers ask one question... "Is this decision in he best interest of my children or grandchildren?"
When OPC become as important as those closest to us, only then will decisions be made on behalf of all kids, their families, and the teachers and schools who serve them.
Many citizens in our state have no face, they have no voice, they have no one truly looking out for their best interest. Their representative's district lines are often drawn in a way that shuts them out of the decision making priorities. Those representing rural communities need to be their advocates, encouraging their colleagues and associates to hold the banner for all kids-- not just those whose family support their campaigns and agendas.
The greatest problem facing rural schools today is they have little voice. That's why I value what you and SCORS are doing as advocates for our rural schools. We need to ask every decision maker to be mindful of the various needs and issues facing other people's children. Let that be their priority.
Marc Drews, Director of Strategic Partnerships