Surveying College Students on Rural Teacher Initiatives

Companion bills H.4782 and H.4938 would mandate the State Department of Education and the Center for Education Recruitment, Retention and Advancement collaborate with the Commission on Higher Education to survey students at the state’s colleges of education. The surveys would ask students if they ever thought about teaching in a rural and economically challenged district, and what incentives would cause them to work in such a district.

These surveys would be the first step towards new financial incentives for teaching in rural districts, a policy that has been suggested multiple times by sitting Governor Nikki Haley. As we’ve said when this kind of policy has been discussed before, any incentive will attract both high- and low-quality teachers. It’s doubtful these these incentives will improve teacher quality, especially as the highest performing teachers should have an easier time acquiring positions in what are perceived to be the better or more desirable school districts and are therefore less likely to be swayed by these benefits.

Again, what is needed isn’t more money for public schools, it’s giving parents and students choices outside of a monopolistic one size fits all system.

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