School Choice Score: 62%
With a cap of $8 million, it is a limited program and 1,500 students participated in 2014. The state permits parents some choices among traditional public schools but it restricts such choice to within their district, limiting options.
Charter Schools Score: 82%
Although universities have been slow to approve schools, this needed alternative is finally on the books. In the past, the largest issue in the Palmetto State was inequitable funding for charters not authorized by school boards since those charters do not receive local funds. That has been largely remedied as the state budget has included additional funds for those schools, thereby putting them on nearly equitable footing with district charter schools.
Online Learning Score: 75%
South Carolina allows high-quality providers and students now have access to a variety of digital learning experiences, but barriers to student access around funding and enrollment persist. Digital learning in South Carolina continues to grow. Governor Nikki Haley acknowledged the importance of online learning and technology in the classroom with a K-12 education reform initiative, seeking to modernize technology in the classroom and improve bandwidth in order to give students wider access to digital content and provide them with computer skills that will make them attractive to employers.
- Source: Digital Learning Now!
Teacher Quality Score: 72%
Teachers receive feedback from their evaluations, and professional development is aligned with findings. Neither tenure decisions nor licensure advancement and renewal are based on teacher effectiveness. Districts are allowed to put seniority ahead of performance when dismissing teachers. Teacher compensation is controlled by a state salary schedule based on seniority and advanced degrees. There is a performance-based system, but districts are not required to align their compensation system to it.