The Student, Teacher, Parent Plan

Our “STP” Plan is all about good old-fashioned common sense. It will revolutionize education in South Carolina by prioritizing students, supporting teachers, and empowering parents.

Students: Learning, Our #1 Priority

1. Focus on Foundational Skills
Too many students are behind in basic math and reading skills. This is an urgent situation. We must prioritize these foundational skills which children need to be successful in other vitally important subject areas like history, the sciences, and the arts. This means a strong focus on phonics and knowledge-building—the proven science of reading—especially in the early grades.


2. Support Safe Schools
We must make our schools safer by investing in mental health and mentoring resources for all students and fully funding a school resource officer for every school. Keeping students safe starts with strong community involvement, building intentional partnerships with parents, faith and business leaders, veterans, and first responders.


3. Celebrate ALL Pathways to Success: College, Trade, or Military
We must elevate, celebrate, and expand multiple educational pathways—whether that means four-year college, a great civilian job, or joining the military—in order to equip every student to pursue their individual talents and goals with excellence. We must also recognize, support, and equip our students with special needs to meet their full, God-given potential.

Teachers: Simplify & Support

1. Cut Red Tape
Far too often, teachers are forced to deal with onerous regulations and a sea of meaningless acronyms. We must simplify our standards and cut bureaucratic red tape to allow educators to do what they do best: teach.


2. Restore Classroom Discipline
Unfortunately, Washington bureaucrats have far too much say in our discipline practices, which means that our teachers aren’t allowed to maintain control over their own classrooms. South Carolina must intentionally cultivate, coach, and empower teachers to be the CEOs of their classrooms and principals to be CEO’s of their schools. We must also give teachers a safe, anonymous way to speak out about issues in their classrooms: teachers must be heard.


3. Raise Teacher Pay
We must bring teacher pay to the national average within five years, as well as supporting our hardworking school staff and paraprofessionals. We must also reform our current pay scale to reward initiative, hard work, and high-quality teaching that delivers for kids and find innovative ways to keep great teachers in the classroom. With an ongoing teacher shortage, South Carolina must find new ways to recognize teachers who are making a difference and attract new teachers to the profession – both new college graduates and second-career educators.

Parents: Restore Trust, Defend Rights

1. Restore Trust Through Transparency
We must insist on total transparency for all materials and resources used with students and empower teachers and parents to speak up against any political indoctrination in South Carolina schools, while teaching complete and accurate history.


2. Expand Education Choices
Whether it’s traditional public, public charter or magnet, private, home school, or any of the growing array of high-quality hybrid options, we must ensure that parents of every income level can choose the right environment to support the safety, well-being, values, and unique educational needs of their child.


3. Enact a Parents’ Bill of Rights
Parents hold the God-given right and ultimate responsibility for their child’s education. We must defend their unequivocal right to be fully informed about and make decisions on behalf of their child: educational, medical, or otherwise. South Carolina schools will partner with – not usurp – parents.

Read More About Ellen’s Education Priorities