President’s Corner

Roger Smith

January 10, 2018

Happy New Year to all! 

I want to thank Arnold and Carol Hillman and Vashti Washington for their commitment and work to establish SCORS, and to make it into a worthwhile organization advocating and supporting rural school districts in SC.  The leaders and communities in the rural school districts must come together to create the attention and political will needed to adequately address the inequity, unfairness and continued snubbing of rural schools.

Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”  This should be the perspective of all that want and fight for an equitable and quality public school system in rural SC.

 The 2nd regular session of the 122nd General Assembly convened Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Who will be advocating for rural school districts during this session of the legislature?  Will it be the typical groups?  I am afraid, if this is the case, we will continue to get what we have always gotten.  That is the introduction of a plethora of education bills (some good and some not) with very little substantive action taken to bring about the equity needed for so long in rural SC.

 I once sat in a meeting with the House Ways and Means Chairperson and called for full funding of the Education Finance Act (EFA).  One of the staff members exclaimed that I was “crazy” asking for such an impossible accomplishment.  I am recalling this incident to illustrate the perception and mindset of those with power in SC. 

One is looked upon as crazy if they believe that all children be provided with safe, structurally sound school buildings, have the same educational options, and opportunities as other children regardless of their zip code. Only the leaders, and people of rural SC can change this mindset.  Others cannot do it for us.

Just look at the recent action of the SC Supreme Court relinquishing its part in the Abbevile Case.  Unless and until there is intense advocacy efforts taken for the children in rural SC will the Legislature do more than they have ever done.

 SCORS is developing into the organization to bring about the change we seek!