South Carolina Organization of Rural Schools
SCORS 10- Noon

January 11, 2018

Introductions- Roger Smith

We went around the room and took turns introducing ourselves. We had representation from different groups of educators around SC.

Election of Officers- Dr. Vashti Washington

  • Dr. Washington introduced the slate of officers:

President - 

  • Roger Smith (former president of SCEA)​

Vice President-

  • Dr. Thelma Sojourner (supt. of Bamburg 2 school district)


  • Don Doggett (supt. of McCormick school district)


  • Carol Hillman (one of three founding members of SCORS)

Assistant Secretary-

  • Dr. Vashti Washington (retired superintendent and one of three founding members of SCORS)

A motion was made and seconded to accept the slate of officers. A vote was taken and the slate was accepted unanimously.

Unfinished Business Report on tasks – Bud Ferillo

Bud presented us with a tentative budget for the new documentary- Unfinished Business-Children of the Corridor. He estimates we will need about $90,000 total and that we will need at least $20,000 by April when he hopes filming can start. We talked about the focus of the documentary and after a robust discussion we decided several things:

  • No matter how we spin it, more money is needed for rural districts in SC to properly educate our rural students who represent 1/3 of the SC population.
  • Many of the improvements have been in facilities. Most of the other changes for the better have come from the efforts made by local communities by creative superintendents.
  • We need input from some notable people who have access to research we will need to use.
  • We need to identify the 4 or 5 districts that present the state of the other 33 some odd districts still in the Abbeville Suit.
  • It is vital that everything in the documentary be based on research.
  • The documentary must show the improvements made in districts since the Corridor of Shame was made in 2007 as well as the challenges rural schools still face and the new challenges that have presented themselves since 2007.
  • We need to start fund-raising asap.
  • We need a one page summary of what we hope  to achieve with the documentary to present to potential donors. The officers and Dr. Arnold Hillman (one of the three original founders of SCORS) will work up this page immediately.
  • Bud still needs to find an editor for the documentary.
  • We can find the names for those who helped fund the Corridor of Shame on the back of the documentary.
  • We need to define who we are targeting with the new documentary.
  • If the state of SC were a ship, 1/3 of its passengers would be underwater.

4. Legal- 501C3 and 501C4- Roger Smith

Roger checked with some attorneys and found out we can fill out much of the initial forms for the 501C3 ourselves and then get to work on the 501C4.

Don Doggett offered to contact some attorneys he knows to seek their help.

The fact that SCORS is not yet registered to lobby on behalf of rural districts, does not mean we cannot lobby as private citizens of SC.

We talked about:

  • A. the fact that the EFA (Education Finance Act) in SC has only been fully funded 8 times since it was passed in 1976. Having the EFA fully funded would go a long way towards helping rural districts.
  • B. this next year we will have a shortage of 7,500 teachers in SC and that may devastate some of the smaller rural districts. Turnover and teacher retirement is a very real problem in rural districts where wages are not competitive. If you have a staff of less than 40 teachers and 10 of them leave, your district will be crippled.
  • Teacher shortages are not just a function of poor funding, they are also a function of the health of a  district, availability of local housing, the proximity of the district to good health care, shopping, entertainment, etc.
  • C. notable people, both in and out of SC, who might help us such as chairpersons of education departments in colleges, college presidents, researchers, well known celebrities, prominent business people, etc.
  • D. who we are targeting with our documentary- legislators, voters, etc.
  • E. Ways we could find necessary research such as (CERRA)  Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement released in 2015 and the report from the recent committee chaired by State Superintendent Molly Spearman.
  • F. The economic impact on the economy of SC (and on it’s rural towns) of leaving 1/3 of our state’s population under-educated.

Next meeting(s)

• On Thursday, February 8 those educators at today’s meeting will meet to discuss just one item: Unfinished Business, The Children of the Corridor. The meeting will take place at 10 a.m. at EdVenture.

• On Thursday, March 8 all SCORS members are encouraged to attend our regular bi-monthly meeting at 10 a.m. Meeting place TBD.

Meeting Minutes