Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

If so, I need your help.

As I’ve mentioned earlier on this site, each House member serves on a House standing committee and occasionally members have the opportunity to serve on other important committees as appointed by the Speaker, Governor, or a Committee Chairman.

In the few months since our session ended in June I have been appointed and am serving on three important committees that I feel will help us with some of the most pressing issues in our state:

1. The Joint Transportation Review Committee (responsible for screening DOT Commissioner applicants)

2. Education K12 Subcommittee (currently reviewing Accountability and Testing Standards for our state)

3. Education Funding Act Study Committee (one of the largest responsibilities of state government)

Any feedback you have on these subjects above would be greatly appreciated. Outside of taxes/government spending….roads and education are at the top of things we need to improve in this state!

In a directive from the Speaker of the House…”The Committee is to thoroughly review education funding in South Carolina. Specifically, the Committee is to examine the EFA, EIA, EAA and determine whether these pieces of legislation reflect the goals and obligations of this State with respect to the education of children. In addition, the Committee is charged with recommending any changes it deems appropriate to the current education funding system in South Carolina in an effort to better utilize available resources.”

H. 3531
A HOUSE RESOLUTION

TO CREATE A COMMITTEE TO STUDY HOW BEST TO ALLOW THE STATE’S PORTION OF EDUCATIONAL FUNDING TO FLOW DOWN TO THE SCHOOLS IN A WEIGHTED PUPIL FORMULA OR “BACKPACKING” WITH THE CHILD, TO PROVIDE FOR THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT IT SHALL RENDER ITS REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS NO LATER THAN JANUARY 15, 2008 (NOTE: UPDATED TO NOVEMBER 1, 2008), AT WHICH TIME IT SHALL BE DISSOLVED.

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives as follows:

(A) A committee to study how best to allow the state’s portion of educational funding to flow down to the schools in a weighted pupil formula or “backpacking” with the child is hereby created. However, the committee’s study shall not include how to increase educational funding or the formulas which determine this.

(B) The committee shall consist of nine members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Members shall serve a term to expire when the committee is dissolved pursuant to this resolution. Vacancies on the committee must be filled in the manner of original appointment. Members shall elect as officers from their number a chairman and vice chairman. Committee membership does not constitute an office for purposes of the prohibition on dual office holding provided in Section 3, Article VI of the Constitution of this State. Notwithstanding Section 8-13-770 of the 1976 Code, members of the House of Representatives may be appointed to serve on this committee.

(C) The committee shall meet after adoption of this resolution upon call of the Speaker for the purpose of organizing and thereafter at the call of the chairman.

(D) The study committee in order to achieve its purpose shall consider, among others, the following specific questions:

(1) how to reform funding for educational programs in South Carolina, mainly in the seventy-four funding categoricals in the Education Finance Act, in an effort to see that more educational dollars make it to the schools;

(2) how to provide for flexibility in spending these dollars;

(3) how to put some emphasis on allowing school principals budgetary input for spending the dollars in the areas where they see the need, thus matching funds to students’ needs;

(4) how to allow the state’s educators to use state funding in ways that produce the best results for students; and

(5) how to expend the Education Finance Act’s weighting system to include additional groups of students not currently weighted, including:

(a) low income or poverty weightings;
(b) gifted and talented program children;
(c) special needs children; and
(d) a base weight for all children.
(E) Professional and clerical services for the committee must be made available from the staff of the House of Representatives, the Education Oversight Committee, and other agencies or departments as the committee determines appropriate.

(F) The committee shall issue a report and recommendations to the House of Representatives with respect to its findings not later than January 15, 2008. (NOTE: REVISED TO NOVEMBER 1, 2008)

(G) The members of the committee are entitled to receive the per diem, mileage, and subsistence as is allowed by law for members of boards, committees, and commissions when engaged in the exercise of their duties as members of the committee to be paid from the approved accounts of the House.

(H) Upon the submission of its report and recommendations, the committee is dissolved.