Minutes of SCORS meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Agenda Item 1. Unfinished Business-Children of the Corridor
SCORS is working in cooperation with Mr. Bud Ferillo, the director and producer of the internationally recognized documentary, The Corridor of Shame.
We are planning the sequel.
Mr. Ferillo explained that we need to identify the major issues, that those issues must have popular appeal as we must engage the whole community of South Carolina. He thinks we need to identify 4 representative rural school districts and potential interviewees.
We must also find funding for this project.
We discussed various issues that impact all schools in South Carolina, such as teacher shortages, housing for teachers and salaries. It was pointed out that the state has established a minimum teacher salary, but no districts can afford to offer that minimal salary because if they did they would not have any teacher candidates. However, legislators may be making decisions about increased monies for salaries without knowing what the actual salaries being offered are. Some teachers drive through wealthier districts to get to work in a poor district. The poor districts can’t compete with their neighbors for teachers.
It is becoming almost impossible for poor districts to attract math, science and special needs teachers.
Another reason poor, rural districts struggle to hire teachers is that rural communities are lacking in the basics: no grocery stores, health care, movies, banks, malls, drycleaners and the list goes on.
Rural districts need economic development and they need the state to help them attract businesses. Rural people are good workers, but there are no jobs.
Poor districts need to be able to provide INCENTIVES for good teachers to come to them and to stay on.
We began to identify people in South Carolina who might know what the major issues are, people who are statewide experts on rural education, people who have testified before the legislature, people who have “boots on the ground” such as superintendents and teachers. We talked about the efforts being made by the SC State Department of Education and Superintendent Molly Spearman’s taskforce on teacher recruitment and retention.
There are many knowledgeable people who might help us identify the problems and the solutions.
Mr. Ferillo will be submitting a budget in the very near future and everyone in the room offered to submit names of possible donors. We are fortunate to have Dr. Vashti Washington chairing our fundraising committee.
Our conversation moved on to identifying businesses, organizations and individuals who might be willing to help fund the new documentary. Mr. Ferillo pointed out that he will not need to make copies of the new documentary as he can post it on YouTube. He has already thought of other ways he can save us money on this effort.
We roughed out a timeline for the production of the video and talked about the districts that might be included in the film.
Throughout the discussion Mr. Ferillo filled us in on how the fundraising was done before and that the SC Christian Action Council served as the “pass through” to pay bills.
Agenda Item 2. Roaming Around
Carol and Arnold Hillman have now visited 14 of the 35 rural SC school districts. Most recently they visited Mr. Don Doggett and the staff at McCormick School District. It is always interesting to learn about the good things going on in districts and the challenges they face. See www.scorsweb.org for more information about the visit to McCormick SD.
Agenda item 3 SCORS business
We now have a slate of officers and will be voting on our bylaws and our officers at the next meeting which is on Thursday, January 11. Location TBA.