Education advocates question Gov. Haley's education proposal - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Education advocates question Gov. Haley's education proposal

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Governor Nikki Haley has made education her priority in 2014.

Earlier this month, she announced a proposal to spend an extra $97 million on children who live in poverty, an additional $30 million for reading coaches, and $29 million to improve internet capabilities.

Jackie Hicks has been teaching for 28 years. She's been president of the South Carolina Education Association for nearly four.

In those four years, she says she hasn't heard much from Gov. Haley about education, until recently.

"We could have been working on this for three years, instead of, I hate to even say this, but the suspect of a political move here," said Hicks.

Governor Haley talked about technology in classrooms in her State of the State Adress Wednesday.

"We are going to make sure that the Internet gets to our schools. We are going to make sure those schools are wired to receive it," said Haley.

"As a classroom teacher, there were years where I would have an antenna that I would walk across the room to be able to pick up something to bring in just with a TV," added Hicks.

Haley also mentioned providing a reading coach to each elementary school, and increasing investment in summer reading camps.

"South Carolina ranks 42nd in the country when it comes to our 4th graders ability to read at a basic level," said Haley during her State of the State address.

Hicks says South Carolina used to have reading coaches in schools and they did work, but funding was cut, and the coaches were gone. She says it's a great idea to bring them back, but not so simple.

"To have one coach in one elementary school, I'm not sure that is enough to make a difference," said Hicks.

For Hicks, Haley's ideas sound good, but all leave her with the same question.

"I still am puzzled at how we can provide this when we haven't had a conversation about funding," said Hicks.

Governor Haley says taxes will not be increased, so Hicks wants to know where the money will come from.

Hicks wants the community to work together to make sure South Carolina students have the best opportunities possible.

"They are very important and the things we do in this state should always be first and foremost for the future. I mean, yes, for today, but to make a difference to them in their lives for tomorrow," said Hicks.

Hicks would have liked Governor Haley to mention higher wages for teachers and to thank the teachers for their hard work.

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