Proposed Teacher Salary Increase

I read with great interest the article in Sunday’s State newspaper about State Superintendent Molly Spearman’s proposal to raise teacher salaries. I applaud her for using the visibility of her position to focus on this critically important issue.

That said, I hope Ms. Spearman and other political leaders also focus on the funding issue. The General Assembly has not funded its legal obligation for K-12 education since 2008. Kershaw County by itself has lost over $70 million during this period. If education had been funded as the law requires all along, we would not be in this pickle now.

Funding teacher salaries and school buses and all the other needs out there will require an overhaul of both the state’s archaic and dysfunctional tax structure and the state’s illogical and frankly discriminatory school funding formula. It’s certainly a good thing to talk about needs…But this conversation must also include how to generate the funding to meet these needs.

Some very viable proposals on tax structure and school funding have been presented over the last several years and gone nowhere. Unless the money issue is addressed, Ms Spearman’s very appropriate idea will just be something that gives teachers more false hope.

I do find it interesting, however, that the folks in Columbia can always find funding for more testing….school buses and teacher salaries not so much.

My view from out here in the field….

Mr. Bobby Jones

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Mr. Bobby Jones. Mr. Jones gave a lifetime of service to Kershaw County as an educator, as a Highway Commissioner, and as a leader in countless other community endeavors. During my time here, Mr. Jones frequently gave me very wise counsel on a number of issues. He had a great deal of wisdom about life and people. Mr. Jones also had a special place in his heart for young people, and he worked with schools on anti-drug education right up to just a few weeks ago. He will be greatly missed by so many in our community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Mary and his family.

Camden High Hall of Fame Induction

I was honored to be able to attend the Camden High School Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony last night. The Class of 2017 included Ms. Alfred Mae Drakeford, Dr. Paul Joseph, Sr., Dr. Janet Marshall, Mr. Patrick Davis, Mr. Austin Sheehen, and Mr. Thomas “Daddy Mac” McLester (posthumously). The Camden High School Improvement Council started this program last year, and it has been a resounding success! This was a wonderful celebration of the community!!!