Henry McMaster on Education



Freeze college tuition for in-state students

We also know that access and affordability to higher education for every South Carolinian is essential to ensuring that we have the trained and skilled workforce to successfully compete for jobs and investment in the future and meet all economic challenges. Therefore, this marks the fifth year in a row that I have asked the General Assembly to freeze college tuition for in-state students, with an appropriation to our institutions of higher education of $49.8 million.
Source: 2024 State of the State Address to the S.C. legislature , Jan 24, 2024

Parents may choose public, private, or for-profit pre-K

To increase the percentage of children who enter our public schools ready to learn, we unleashed the free market and expanded full-day, four-year-old kindergarten to all at-risk children in the state. Parents may now choose the public, private, or for-profit childcare provider that best suits their child's educational needs.

Placing an armed, certified school resource officer--SRO - in every school, in every county, all day, every day, has been one of my top priorities. At my request, the General Assembly began funding a grant program administered by the Department of Public Safety to provide school districts with funds to hire more resource officers for our 1,283 public schools. This year I am recommending an additional $27.3 million to provide an additional 188 schools with an SRO.

Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the S.C. legislature , Jan 25, 2023

Parents must know what their children are learning

A group of concerned parents contacted my office about a book containing age inappropriate, sexually explicit, obscene, and pornographic images, available in their school's library. For explicit materials of this nature to have been allowed into a school, without oversight, without public review, and without parents' prior knowledge, is highly troubling and destroys public confidence in our schools. Parents must know what their children are hearing, seeing, and learning in the classroom.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the S.C. legislature , Jan 19, 2022

$13 million to establish Education Scholarship Accounts

I am setting aside $13 million in lottery proceeds for the General Assembly to establish Education Scholarship Accounts. These accounts provide the opportunity for working or low-income parents to choose the type of education environment and instruction that best suits their child's unique needs.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address: South Carolina legislature , Jan 13, 2021

Remove outdated "Common Core" textbooks from classrooms

Did you know that we still have a multitude of outdated "Common Core" textbooks being used in our classrooms--years after the General Assembly mandated their removal? This year--like years past--I am proposing the funding necessary for the Department of Education to once and for all replace these books.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address: South Carolina legislature , Jan 13, 2021

Boost teacher pay; surpass southeastern average salaries

Last year, we raised the salaries of all South Carolina teachers. This year, I ask you to give each teacher an additional $3,000 dollar raise--which equates to an average 7% raise per teacher. South Carolina will vault into the "top 25" national ranking for average teacher pay. We now rank 41st. We will surpass the southeastern average for the first time in many of our lives. And the minimum starting salary for new teachers will have jumped 26% in the last three years, to $38,000.
Source: 2020 South Carolina State of the State address , Jan 22, 2020

Fund PreK for needy kids, including religious schools

In 2006, the General Assembly funded full-day, four-year-old kindergarten programs for Medicaid-eligible children in public schools and private childcare centers. I ask that you provid[e] every lower-income, four-year-old child the opportunity to attend full-day kindergarten at the public, private, parochial or religious institution of their parents' choosing. That's right--the parents can choose. We will unleash the free market into early childhood education through parental choice.
Source: 2020 South Carolina State of the State address , Jan 22, 2020

5% funding increase for colleges not raising tuition

Last year we took a dramatic step by freezing college tuition for in-state students. I urge you to do it again this year by providing a 5% funding increase for each institution that does not raise tuition. I ask you to provide an additional $164 million for need-based scholarships and grants to open the door of opportunity for those students. I also ask that the state pay 100% of college tuition for active duty members of the South Carolina Army or Air National Guard.
Source: 2020 South Carolina State of the State address , Jan 22, 2020

ReadySC: triple funding for technical training

Last year, our readySC program trained over 3,600 people for 82 companies. My budget also triples existing funding for readySC, making more than $19 million dollars available for training new employees for business in the next fiscal year. My executive budget prioritizes funding for our technical colleges to identify and recruit local businesses to participate in collaborative partnerships with high schools; to create internship opportunities; to promote certificate completion.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to South Carolina congress , Jan 23, 2019

Full-time police officer to combat threats to schools

Our classrooms and schools must also be safe, free from distraction and violence. It's a fact: the presence of a trained certified law enforcement officer is the best and most effective deterrent against violence at a school. My executive budget ensures that every public school in our state has a full-time, trained law enforcement officer and access to a mental health counselor through the Department of Mental Health's school services program.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to South Carolina congress , Jan 23, 2019

Supports arming teachers in schools

Republican candidate for governor Catherine Templeton said she supports arming teachers as part of an effort to improve school safety. Templeton responded to a question about school security in an interview.

School security has become a hot topic in the state and throughout the nation since a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14. Authorities in the Upstate have responded to a number of threats and perceived threats of violence at Upstate schools.

Speaking in Anderson last week, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant talked about legislation that he sponsored before becoming lieutenant governor last year that would allow school districts to consider arming teachers and other school employees. Gov. McMaster said last week that he would sign a bill to arm teachers in schools.

Source: Greenville News on 2018 South Carolina governor race , Feb 26, 2018

Invest in school choice & robust charter school program

On schools: What do we want? And what must we do?

We want a multifaceted system, anchored by traditional public schools boasting the best teachers, principals and technologies. We want charter schools--all public--to flourish, including those for children with special needs. Parents want vigorous, accountable, innovative school choice. So how do we accomplish this?

My executive budget increases per-pupil funding for charter schools, and establishes a transportation program to reduce barriers to access.
Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature , Jan 24, 2018

Early education is the beginning of economic health

2009: Stood up for childhood education: Protected the people's vital interests in the critical education case in Clarendon County, which confirmed the necessity of early childhood education as the beginning of economic health and prosperity.
Source: 2010 S.C. Gubernatorial campaign website HenryMcMaster.com , Jan 11, 2017

Other governors on Education: Henry McMaster on other issues:
Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.State A.G. Daniel Cameron(R)

vs.Ambassador Kelly Craft(R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Jeff Landry(R)
vs.Shawn Wilson(D)
vs.John Schroder(R)
vs.Sharon Hewitt(R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R,withdrew)
vs.Brandon Presley(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2024:
DE: Gov. John Carney (D, term-limited);
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D)
vs. Matt Meyer (D)
IN: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R, term-limited);
Sen. Mike Braun (R)
vs. Suzanne Crouch (R)
vs. Jennifer McCormick (D)
MO: Gov. Mike Parson (R, term-limited):
Jay Ashcroft (R)
vs. Bill Eigel (R)
vs. Mike Kehoe (R)
vs. Crystal Quade (D)
MT: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R)
vs. Tanner Smith (R)
vs. Ryan Busse (D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2024 (continued):
NC: Gov. Roy Cooper (D, term-limited);
Dale Folwell (R)
vs. Michael Morgan (D)
vs. Mark Robinson (R)
vs. Josh Stein (D)
vs. Andy Wells (R)
ND: Gov. Doug Burgum (R)
vs. State Rep. Rick Becker (R)
NH: Gov. Chris Sununu (R, retiring)
vs. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)
vs. Joyce Craig (D)
vs. Chuck Morse (R)
vs. Cinde Warmington (D)
UT: Gov. Spencer Cox (R)
vs. State Rep. Phil Lyman (R)
VT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) unopposed
WA: Gov. Jay Inslee (D, retiring);
Hilary Franz (D, withdrew)
vs. State Sen. Mark Mullet (D)
vs. County Chair Semi Bird (R)
vs. WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)
WV: Gov. Jim Justice (R, term-limited);
vs. WV State Auditor JB McCuskey (R, withdrew)
vs. WV Secretary of State Mac Warner (R)
vs. State Del. Moore Capito (R)
vs. WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)
vs. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D)
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