Let me count the ways.
The first thing we, the citizens of Fairfield County, need to do is get off of our bottoms. (Sorry, we don’t say butts in our house. We have little ones.)
This county is full of complacency both in education and in politics.
I am told that it has been so bad for so long that people are tired of trying to change it. If we give up, it will continue to get worse. I, with others on both sides of the political aisle, are trying to improve the education in Fairfield County.
My solution is multifaceted.
You do have choices, but you need more.
Currently your children can go to the Fairfield County public school system
. Within this system you may be able to attend the Magnet School, but that is where the choice ends.
I do want to state that there are good students, teachers, administrators, a board member or two and involved parents in the Fairfield County School District, but there is improvement that needs to occur all around.
With the recent hiring of a new superintendent, I hope the board will get out of his way and let him run the district without micromanaging him as many board members have done in the past. Stay tuned.
Another option is private school, Richard Winn for those that can afford it.
Many parents I talk to are working multiple jobs to pay tuition for their children to attend this school.
I am so impressed when I hear parents tell the depths they will go through to give their children a quality education.
The sad truth is that not everyone can afford to send their children to a private school, second job or not.
Yet another option for parents is to send their children to a free online public virtual school such as Connections Academy or South Carolina Virtual School.
Children go online and attend lessons from teachers based out of Columbia and other cities in South Carolina. Some of the neat courses that are offered as electives are robotics, Mandarin Chinese and engineering design.
This works for my children, but admittedly is not an option for every parent or child. Another growing option for parents is home schooling.
There are several home school associations for Fairfield area homeschoolers such as South Carolina Home Educators Association (SCHEA), Home Education Resources and Services (HERS), and Resources, Encouragement and Activities (REA) among others. This option takes time, effort and preparation and also is not for everyone.
Free public charter schools are also an option. Charter schools can be under the supervision of the local school district or the South Carolina Public Charter School District.
The Midlands STEM Institute currently being planned for Fairfield County will be under the supervision of the South Carolina Public Charter School District.
The estimated start date for the Midlands STEM Institute is the Fall of 2014.
The last option (Well it’s not an option yet because your Democrat delegation continues be against it even though they benefited from a private school education.)
I will discuss to improve education in Fairfield County is school choice.
The school choice option allows you to use the tax dollars you currently pay and apply a portion of them towards tuition at a private or religious school of your choice.
Imagine that, taxes that you pay to the government for schools now, can follow your child to the school of your choice not the governments’ choice.
The school choice option also offers scholarships for low income and special needs children to attend private or religious schools.
What government officials fail to realize is the money we pay in taxes is not their money to spend as they please. It is the people’s money.
Over the next few weeks I will go in depth on how each of these choices can benefit the children of Fairfield County and ultimately all of the citizens in Fairfield County.
I just gave you something to ponder. Had enough? Vote Republican.
Kevin Thomas is the Republican chairman of the Fairfield County Republican Party and the vice-chairman of the Fifth Congressional District Republicans and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org