Happening Today: Education Week Leadership Symposium. Learn more and register.
Education Funding

Equity Advocates Hit the Highway

By Laura Greifner — August 13, 2007 1 min read

Forget “Smiling faces, beautiful places.” Billboards in South Carolina sported a new—if unofficial—slogan throughout much of the summer: “Welcome to South Carolina, home of ‘minimally adequate education.’ ”

Two billboards, along Interstate 95 and near the intersection of Interstate 26, in the southeastern part of the state, were posted as part of a campaign by Education First, a business-oriented coalition that is pressuring lawmakers on the issue of equity in school spending.

BRIC ARCHIVE

South Carolina is among the states wrestling with the issue. The phrase “minimally adequate education” stems from a 1999 state supreme court decision in the case of Abbeville v. South Carolina, requiring the legislature to provide for such an education—without defining it.

After the case was sent back to the state circuit court in Lee County, a judge ruled in 2005 that the state was, in fact, providing “the opportunity for each child to receive a minimally adequate education,” except for early-childhood education. (“S.C. Judge Tells State to Do More for Young Children,” Jan. 11, 2006.)

On July 12, the judge declined to revisit that decision—four days before the billboards were raised.

“The legislature has continued to be unhelpful to rural schools” in 2007, said Charles T. “Bud” Ferillo Jr., a coordinator of the campaign and a Columbia-based public relations executive. “Education First is trying to bring attention in the population of South Carolina for, ultimately, a legislative solution.”

Asked for Republican Gov. Mark Sanford’s comment, a member of his staff pointed to gubernatorial spokesman Joel Sawyer’s recent statements in the South Carolina newspaper The State.

“They’re devoting energy to billboards rather than substantive education reforms,” Mr. Sawyer told the newspaper.

The two billboards together cost about $3,900 for a 30-day display and were to remain up until about the middle of this month. Mr. Ferillo said that Education First hopes that grassroots contributions will allow the billboards to be displayed for the 2008 legislative session or the election season.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in South Carolina, along with data on South Carolina’s public school system.

A version of this article appeared in the August 15, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding States Are Waffling Over Billions in K-12 Federal Relief. Schools Are Getting Antsy.
Schools in some states have already started spending money from recent federal stimulus packages. Others don’t yet have the dollars in hand.
6 min read
Conceptual image of money dropping into a jar.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding Opinion The COVID-19 Stimulus Money Won’t Last Forever. Here’s What's Next for Schools
There are three important first steps for states to start helping schools prepare now, write two policy experts.
Zahava Stadler & Victoria Jackson
5 min read
a group of people water a lightbulb plant, nurturing an idea
iStock/Getty Images
Education Funding Opinion What Ed. Leaders Can Learn From a Wildfire About Spending $129 Billion in Federal Funds
There are five entrenched routines that leaders should reject to forge a better path forward after the pandemic.
Kristen McQuillan
4 min read
Firefighters fighting fire
akiyoko/iStock/Getty
Education Funding Opinion Does Place-Based Giving Make It Harder for Funders to Get Reliable Feedback?
Big donors can be lulled into underestimating the financial, political, and information constraints of place-based philanthropy.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty