… AND ENDORSES COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN PALMETTO STATE
Leaders of South Carolina’s education establishment are standing behind their colleagues in Chicago, Illinois – not only supporting the current teachers’ strike but urging for the adoption of collective bargaining here in the Palmetto State.
“We’re not a union here in South Carolina but when we have fellow colleagues in other areas who are concerned with classroom issues and school issues in general, we defer to them,” said Jamie Hicks, executive director S.C. Education Association (SCEA). ”They are the ones on the ground there, they know the issues.”
And the strike itself?
“We support them on it,” Hicks said.
“The (school board) leaders did not come to the table, they had their lawyers there,” Hicks said. ”The real people who could make the decision didn’t bother to come to the table. That was not good faith bargaining.”
Hicks says that she believes adding collective bargaining in South Carolina would benefit public education.
“I would love for it to be on the table,” Hicks said. “Then you can actually sit down and have a real conversation on how to make great public schools. In South Carolina we have been very fortunate to have a legislature to work with us, but now we’ve been closed out at the Department (of Education).”
Debbie Elmore, communications director for the S.C. School Board Association (SCSBA), said her organization hasn’t yet taken a position on the strike.
“I don’t really know enough about it – we’ve got enough going on in our state,” Elmore said. ”It’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that students aren’t in the classroom and that teachers aren’t teaching.”
Molly Spearman, executive director of the S.C. Association of School Administrators (SCASA), was not immediately available for comment.
Despite a soaring taxpayer investment South Carolina has one of the worst public education systems in the entire country – consistently ranking at or near the bottom on most national rankings. That’s why this website has consistently argued in favor of market-based reforms – notably universal parental choice – which we believe would enhance academic achievement (and improve public schools).
Collective bargaining? Needless to say that’s not on our reform agenda …