By Amy Scott
During the planning stages of South Carolina PSO’s Capitol Day, I was wracking my brain trying to think of a creative way to have parents and students engage with legislators. Ah-ha! Fans. That’s it! After all, it’ll be a warm spring day in Columbia — and a fan will serve multiple purposes.
After all, we’re celebrating school choice, which, by definition, serves multiple purposes. It offers students an alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. It offers parents the opportunity to choose the best education option for their children. And it offers teachers and administrators an alternative for their career path.
As the 700+ attendees entered the Sheraton in Downtown Columbia, they created nametags, picked-up leave-behinds for their legislators’ offices, grabbed #ITrustParents collateral, created rally signs, shared their stories on apple notes, and decorated fans. These fans included a blank side where folks could write why virtual public school works for them. Then, when they stopped by their representative’s and senator’s offices, they would have their elevator speech ready to go!
We had several lawmakers to recognize during our day at the State House. Senator Larry Grooms, Representative Rick Quinn, Representative Brian White, Representative Mike Anthony, Senator Wes Hayes, Senator Nikki Setzler, Senator Tom Davis, Representative Rita Allison, and Superintendent Molly Spearman all received a Champion of School Choice award.
As another kind of school choice fan — us parents — cheered for South Carolina and it’s plethora of educational options, it was encouraging to hear. We have some engaged advocates, future leaders, and potential lawmakers on our hands!