CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jun. 23, 2016) – Last month, Governor Nikki Haley signed a law to make constitutional education a requirement for South Carolina public school students. However, South Carolina residents must remain vigilant to ensure that this new program correctly depicts the intent of the Founding Fathers and their revolutionary documents.
House Bill 3848 (H3848) was introduced this year by Rep. Chip Huggins (R-Columbia) along with 13 bipartisan co-sponsors as the SC Founding Principles Act. The measure was written to require constitutional education for every public school student in South Carolina. It read, as follows:
The State Board of Education and Education Oversight Committee shall incorporate instruction on the founding principles that shaped the United States into the required study of the United States Constitution… and the South Carolina Social Studies Standards upon the next cyclical review. The board and committee shall include, at a minimum, the Federalist Papers and instruction on the structure of government and the role of the separation of powers and the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution.
The measure received overwhelming support. It passed the House and Senate unanimously before being signed into law by Gov. Haley on May 26. As exciting as this news may seem, there is no guarantee that the new constitutional education requirements will be administered effectively and accurately by government officials.
While H3848 contained provisions giving some structure for the new curriculum component, a great deal of leeway is given to public…