Dear Parents of South Carolina:

You are your child’s first teacher. You hold the God-given right and ultimate responsibility for your child’s education. No one is better equipped than you to make decisions about the safety, well-being, values, and unique educational needs of your child.

I believe South Carolina’s public education system has a responsibility to support you in this journey to ensure that your child—and every child—receives an excellent education that prepares them for a productive life, whatever path they are called to follow.

While some schools have built great partnerships with the families they serve, too many Palmetto State parents in recent years have felt excluded from decision-making, frustrated by obsolete and incomprehensible jargon and processes, and like their voices are not being heard or taken seriously.

Add in grave and growing concerns about divisive political agendas infiltrating schools and this upside-down world of COVID school closures and uncertainty…and I know you are exhausted.

I have spent years working alongside parents like you: parents of every income level, parents fighting through suffocating red tape for their child with a special need, parents frustrated by the lack of challenge for their gifted student…and more.

I have fought to break down bureaucratic funding silos that drain dollars from classrooms and rob kids and teachers of hope. Knowledge is power, so I have worked to make complicated education data and information accessible and understandable for busy families. Most importantly, I have fought for financial and academic transparency for students every step of the way.

You see, I believe total transparency is where we begin to rebuild broken trust: 

  • Transparency for every book and resource that makes its way into a South Carolina classroom.
  • Transparency for every dime spent by the SC Department of Education and local districts.
  • Transparency for how well we are preparing every student with the basic skills they need to succeed in college, a career, or the military

As your Superintendent, I will respect your sacred role as a parent and will do everything in my power to give you a bigger voice in education decisions large and small.

I will create a statewide Parent Advisory Council to help identify areas of opportunity and provide real-world feedback about the struggles families face. I will regularly seek opportunities to visit schools around the state to personally speak with and listen to parents.

I will do everything in my power to provide parents of every income level with information and resources to meaningfully engage in their child’s education and foster collaboration between them and their teachers. Vibrant parent-teacher partnerships are foundational for our students to succeed.

I will work with parents, teachers, and policymakers in Columbia to set strong goals…and hold ourselves accountable for achieving them:

  • Enabling every child to attend the school of their choice that best meets their unique needs.
  • Ensuring every child is reading and doing math on grade level and graduates ready for their next step, whether college, career, or the military.
  • Providing transparency and access to information to parents to understand how their child is being educated and empower them to make important decisions along the way. This includes how much public funding is being provided for their child’s education and how each school performs relative to other schools in their area and across the state.
  • Keeping our students safe by providing more school resources officers throughout the state and supporting strong, commonsense discipline in the classroom.

I know firsthand the vital importance of parents in education. You see, I owe everything I am today to the incredible sacrifices my own mom and dad made to get me a great education. And I am now grateful for the privilege, as a proud auntie, of being part of my awesome nephew Jack’s education journey.

Parents across this state are crying out for that same opportunity. I hear you. I respect your role and will fight to elevate your voice. 

Working together, we can throw open the door of opportunity for your child…and transform the education future of children in every corner of South Carolina

For Families and Freedom,

Ellen Weaver
Republican Candidate for State Superintendent of Education