Public education in South Carolina

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K-12 Education in South Carolina
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Mick Zais
Number of students: 727,186[1]
Number of teachers: 46,782
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.5
Number of school districts: 105
Number of schools: 1,223
Graduation rate: 75%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $8,986[3]
See also
South Carolina Department of Education
South Carolina school districts
List of school districts in South Carolina
South Carolina
School boards portal
Policypedia
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project

Public education in the United States
Public education in South Carolina
Glossary of education terms
Note: The statistics on this page are mainly from government sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. Figures given are the most recent as of June 2014, with school years noted in the text or footnotes.
The South Carolina public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 South Carolina had 727,186 students enrolled in a total of 1,223 schools in 105 school districts. There were 46,782 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 16 students, compared to the national average of 1:16. There is roughly one administrator for every 281 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average South Carolina spent $8,986 per pupil in 2011, which ranks it 38th highest in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 75 percent in 2012.[5]

State agencies

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State Education Departments

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See also
South Carolina Superintendent of Education
South Carolina school districts
List of school districts in South Carolina
Public education in South Carolina
School board elections portal
The mission statement of the South Carolina Department of Education reads:[6]
Our mission is to ensure that every student in South Carolina receives an education that meets their individual needs, while also preparing them to be contributing members of society. We work closely with students, parents, teachers, staff, school districts, government officials, and the media to facilitate the best possible education for South Carolina’s students.[7]

The Superintendent of Education is responsible generally for the administration of the Department of Education.[8] The Superintendent of Education is elected to four-year terms. The current officeholder is Mick Zais.[9]

The South Carolina State Board of Education is the governing body for public elementary and secondary education in the state. The board is comprised of 17 members: 16 are appointed from each of the state's judicial circuits by their respective legislative delegations and one is appointed directly by the governor. Members serve four-year terms.[10]

Common Core

Common Core, or Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The South Carolina Department of Education initially adopted the standards on July 14, 2010. Full implementation was scheduled to be achieved in the 2013-14 academic year.[11][12]

On May 30, 2014, Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed legislation that removed South Carolina from the Common Core. Common Core standards for mathematics and English will remain in place for the 2014-15 academic year, but new standards will be written and implemented for the 2015-16 academic year. Some argued, however, that the substance of the new, state-drafted standards would differ little from the Common Core standards. State Senator Brad Hutto (D) said, "The spin is that we did away with, abolished, Common Core. We didn't do anything this year other than move up in time the cyclical review, probably to the detriment of the review."[13][14]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how South Carolina compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
South Carolina 1,223 105 727,186 46,782 1:15.5 1:281.1 $8,986
Georgia 2,388 216 1,685,016 111,133 1:15.2 1:274.9 $9,253
North Carolina 2,577 236 1,507,864 97,308 1:15.5 1:287.8 $8,312
Tennessee 1,802 140 999,693 66,382 1:15.1 1:293.2 $8,242
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 16 295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in South Carolina as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[15]

Demographic information for South Carolina's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 2,142 0.29% 1.10%
Asian 9,834 1.35% 4.68%
African American 259,170 35.64% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students 840 0.12% 0.42%
Hispanic 48,644 6.69% 24.37%
White 386,941 53.21% 51.21%
Two or more 19,615 2.70% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

A plurality of students in South Carolina attend rural schools. Approximately 58 percent of the state's students attend rural or town schools, compared to approximately 42 percent who attend city or suburban schools.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural schools
South Carolina 17.4% 24.3% 14.3% 44%
Georgia 14% 38% 9.9% 38%
North Carolina 25.9% 14.1% 11.6% 48.4%
Tennessee 29.8% 16.1% 14% 40.2%
U.S. average 28.9% 34% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

Policypedia
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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee), South Carolina has the smallest share of fourth grade students who scored at or above proficient in both math and reading.[16]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
South Carolina 35 31 28 29
Georgia 39 29 34 32
North Carolina 45 36 35 33
Tennessee 40 28 34 33
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state
See also: ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates and average composite ACT and SAT scores for South Carolina and surrounding states.[16][17][18]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
South Carolina 75% Fourth 20.2 57% 1,436 64%
Georgia 70% Fifth 20.7 52% 1,452 75%
North Carolina 80% Third 21.9 20% 1,479 62%
Tennessee 87% First 19.7 100% 1,709 8%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1,498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for South Carolina was lower than the national average at 2.8 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 2.5 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[19]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in South Carolina

School choice options in South Carolina include: charter schools, a tax incentive program, inter-district open enrollment policies and online learning programs. In addition, about 7.46 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: South Carolina state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 15.9 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 2.9 percentage points, or 15.4 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 18.8 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[20][21][22][23][24]

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
South Carolina 15.9% $8,986 13.4% 43.45% 43.15%
Georgia 24% $9,253 12.57% 41.58% 45.85%
North Carolina 23.2% $8,312 14.12% 52.04% 33.85%
Tennessee 17.7% $8,242 14.72% 45.75% 39.53%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in South Carolina totaled approximately $7.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for South Carolina and surrounding states.[25]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
South Carolina $1,051,679 $3,408,719 $3,385,398 $7,845,796
Georgia $2,267,612 $7,499,327 $8,268,366 $18,035,305
North Carolina $2,086,278 $7,690,062 $5,001,904 $14,778,244
Tennessee $1,272,825 $3,955,476 $3,417,293 $8,645,594
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in South Carolina totaled approximately $7.9 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for South Carolina and surrounding states.[25]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
South Carolina $6,455,918 $1,018,769 $455,360 $7,930,047
Georgia $15,465,308 $1,368,403 $291,801 $17,125,512
North Carolina $12,335,701 $1,058,530 $675,207 $14,069,438
Tennessee $7,977,696 $661,195 $295,742 $8,934,633
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in South Carolina, the average salary decreased by 2.8 percent.[26]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
South Carolina $49,308 $50,712 $48,217 $47,924 -2.8%
Georgia $56,062 $56,694 $53,819 $52,880 -5.7%
North Carolina $53,849 $50,010 $46,712 $45,947 -14.7%
Tennessee $49,645 $49,412 $47,866 $48,289 -2.7%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. South Carolina ranked 49th overall, or "weakest," which was in the fifth of five tiers.[27]

The main union related to the South Carolina school system is the South Carolina Education Association (SCEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA).[28]

List of local South Carolina school unions:[29]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: South Carolina government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the South Carolina School Boards Association.

The South Carolina House of Representatives rejected a proposal in March 2010 that would have prohibited school districts from using taxpayer money to fund government sector lobbying associations. Representative Boyd Brown introduced the budget amendment, which would have eliminated government sector lobbying and prohibited the use of tax dollars for dues at any "organization which employs a lobbyist." The bill failed on March 18, 2010 by one vote.[30]

According to reports, public universities in the state had spent more than $1.5 million on lobbying as of September 2010.[31][32]

Transparency

"South Carolina Spending Transparency" is the transparency website sponsored by the state. It discloses information about South Carolina's spending and is managed by the Comptroller General. Then-Governor Mark Sanford signed South Carolina Executive Order 2007-14, which mandated the creation of the website, on August 30, 2007.

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of South Carolina ballot measures



Studies and reports

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "South Carolina + Education "

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

South Carolina Education News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. South Carolina State Department of Education, "About Us," accessed June 4, 2014
  7. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. South Carolina State Department of Education, "State Superintendent of Education Duties," accessed June 4, 2014
  9. South Carolina Constitution, "Article VI, Section 7," accessed June 4, 2014
  10. South Carolina State Department of Education, "State Board of Education," accessed June 4, 2014
  11. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed June 12, 2014
  12. South Carolina State Department of Education, "Common Core State Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
  13. Education Week, "Common Core standards could change little," June 16, 2014
  14. The Washington Post, "Two more states pull out of Common Core," June 5, 2014
  15. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  17. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  18. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  19. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  20. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  21. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  22. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  23. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  24. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  26. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  27. Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  28. South Carolina Education Association, "Main Page," accessed April 22, 2010
  29. Center for Union Facts, "South Carolina teachers unions," accessed April 22, 2010
  30. Fits News, "Effort To Ban Taxpayer-Funded Educrat Lobbying Fails," March 22, 2010
  31. Watchdog, "SC Schools Spent More Than $1.5 Million on Lobbying," September 14, 2010
  32. The Nerve, "SC Schools Spent More Than $1.5 Million on Lobbying," September 14, 2010

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