Establishing the SC Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council

H.4781 creates the South Carolina Education and Economic Development Coordination Council, comprised of:

  • State Superintendent of Education or his designee;
  • Executive Director of the South Carolina Employment Security Commission or his designee;
  • Executive Director of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education or his designee;
  • Secretary of the Department of Commerce or his designee;
  • Executive Director of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce or his designee;
  • Executive Director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education or his designee;
  • a school district superintendent (appointed by the Superintendent of Education);
  • a principal (appointed by the Superintendent of Education);
  • a school guidance counselor (appointed by the Superintendent of Education);
  • a teacher (appointed by the Superintendent of Education);
  • the director of a career and technology center (appointed by the Superintendent of Education);
  • the president or provost of a research university (appointed by the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education);
  • the president or provost of a four-year college or university (appointed by the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education);
  • the president of a technical college (appointed by the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education);
  • 10 representatives of business appointed by the Governor;
  • Chairman of the Education Oversight Committee or his designee;
  • a member from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House; and
  • a member from the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore.

The council chairman would be selected by the governor from the governor’s appointees.

The council’s role would be to advise the Department of Education, Department of Commerce, State Board of Education, etc. on the implementation of the South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act, which mandates that career awareness and exploration be incorporated into the public school curricula from the first grade, culminating in personalized graduation plans depending on the student’s career interests.

In addition to advising the DOE on implementation, the council would make an annual report to the Governor, General Assembly, Department of Commerce, State Board of Education, and other “appropriate governing boards” on implementation and results, particularly on how well this leads to a better prepared workforce and student success in higher education.

The council would also make recommendations to the DOE and Department of Commerce for a marketing plan to promote statewide awareness of the system.

This bill reflects the General Assembly’s push toward workforce development, which is a euphemism (at least when used by elected officials) for statewide central planning. First, there are real questions as to how effective a 27-member board will actually be. Second, South Carolina doesn’t need more workforce planning. The state already spends tens of millions of dollars on existing workforce training programs every year. Attempts by the government to mold and direct the labor force will result in a misallocation of resources and hinder economic growth.

Interestingly, state law formerly required an Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council, but it was repealed in 2005.

Similar: H.4937

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