You can read the title of this tome in two ways. The way that I would like you to read it is to help them. You may also give them a round of applause for all of the things that they do for their children.
I have been around rural school superintendents since 1977. Yes, 39 years. That is a very long time to develop a familiarity with what their burdens and joys are. I was reminded today of how they feel about their “children.” Today was the first meeting of the South Carolina Organization of Rural Schools (SCORS- see www.scorsweb.org). It is the brainchild of three people- Carol and I and a recently retired South Carolina school superintendent Dr. W.
We met at the Children’s Museum called EdVenture in Columbia South Carolina. If you can ever see this place, please stop by. It is a wonder and a great place to teach small children about the world.
Our meeting had about 15 people there from differing parts of the state. Our object was to move forward and create an organization that could be the spokesperson for all of the rural school districts in South Carolina. Right now there is not person standing out there and speaking about rural problems. There is also no lobbying going on behalf of rural schools.
Yes, there was an equity suit that was won in 2014. However, the legislature is sitting on their hands and waiting for this all to go away. They do have a point, when the Supreme Court of South Carolina has one retiree, the whole balance of the court could change.
As we expected, the superintendents responded to the meeting with descriptions of what it is that they lack in their school district. Having seen these things for myself, it was not a surprise. How can a state allow this to occur and then complain that educators are spending too much money and not achieving standards? The usual entreaties do not work here in South Carolina. All that you hear is the usual silence from those whose responsibility it is to make these children whole.
We will see how many other superintendents and board members across the state agree with us. That will be the test. Once past that, we will bring all of our forces to bear.