School leaders rally at Statehouse (Audio)

Local school administrator rally under Statehouse porch(Education Dept Bldg can be seen in background, appearing almost like an incomplete column)


School Board members and district superintendents from all over South Carolina gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday to protest the cuts to education and call for state lawmakers to address the funding crisis by finding ways to raise revenues.
Zona Jefferson with the State Association of School Administrators said that local districts have done their part, to reduce costs and have left many positions vacant.
(Jefferson on school funding, under Statehouse porch  MP3  4:53)
Jefferson at the Statehouse
School Board Association President Bruce Davis also serves on the Hampton School District Two board. He said that school funding has been reduced to the same level as in 1995, a time prior to the Education Accountability Act and the Charter Schools Act.

The South Carolina House begins debating the state budget Monday.
Berkeley County School Superintendent Tony Parker told SCRN that school leaders are not trying to blame anyone, including lawmakers, but there needs to be more revenue.  Parker says as bad the financial situation is this year, schools are looking at a much worst situation next year.
Lexington Three School Superintendent Chester Floyd has served as a superintendent for 33 years.  He also emphasized the need for revenue flow, for legislators to do what it takes to save education. 
“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that our system is going downhill,”  he said.  “Substantial improvements take a long time, but it won’t take long at all to see what negative impact this is going to have on student performance.  And this is a state that can’t afford to have less students performance.”