SC Budget Plan Could Hurt Public Education - DatelineCarolina

South Carolina House Debating Big Budget Cuts

The SC Department of Education will be working to make adjustments to their budget. The SC Department of Education will be working to make adjustments to their budget.

By: Erika Hayes

Posted March 16, 2010 10:30 am

The South Carolina House of Representatives began debate Monday on the state's 2010-2011  budget.

The proposal is expected to use $200 million in federal stimulus money to avoid cutting care for the disabled in South Carolina.  The federal funds would also keep the state from capping the number of monthly prescriptions patients can get through medicaid

South Carolina public schools could also be taking a big hit.  The budget being considered could cut $100 million from the public education budget.

"This is not good at all.  It could take a generation for us to recover from this kind of damage," said State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex.

The new budget will take effect on July 1.  School administrators may be faced with some tough decisions.

"Successful academic programs are going to be cut, teacher's salaries will be cut, teachers will be laid off, and that means class sizes will go up," said Rex.

The South Carolina Department of Education hopes to win $300 million in federal money that would offset state budget cuts.  South Carolina is one of 15 finalists in the "Race to the Top" competition.  The "Race to the Top" is a new, $4 billion federal program designed to highlight national education reform.

Legislators will continue to debate the budget through the end of the week.

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