Like some other aspects of the ongoing pandemic, how public schools in South Carolina should open is now fully embroiled in politics.
Despite the continuing spread of the coronavirus, President Trump is urging the nation’s schools to open this fall, and to provide full-time face-to-face instruction. Last week GOP Gov. Henry McMaster, an ardent supporter of the President, adopted the same position, and called for the state schools to provide in-class instruction for five days each week if parents make that choice.
McMaster’s position on reopening is drawing criticism from democratic office holders, teachers’ groups, and school boards who maintain that local districts should decide how schools should safely open.
This week McMaster got some powerful Republican support when Vice President Mike Pence came to Columbia to applaud the Governor’s reopening of the state, and his call for in-class instruction.
McMaster, long an advocate of school choice, roiled the state’s education landscape again this week when he announced he plans to designate $32 million of federal coronavirus relief funds to pay for one-time grants for needy students to attend private or religious schools.