Phone bank with us to support public education

By Laura Haight
President, DWGC

Scores of bills relating to education are making their way quickly through the statehouse. Some are positive bills, such as the Safe Schools Act (​​H.3360), which establishes The Center for School Safety and Targeted Violence within SLED to provide training and education on school safety and targeted violence for law enforcement officers, school personnel, and parents.

But the majority are disruptive, dangerous bills that would undermine public education in favor of the Republican’s long-held fever dream of sending public tax dollars to support private and religious schools. Much like abortion, what has long been thought to be out of reach is barely a hair’s breadth away.

DWGC is organizing to help increase awareness among Greenville County voters about these bills and to encourage all voters to speak out strongly to their elected officials in support of public education and teachers. Time is short so we must act quickly.

Legislation has already passed the Senate that would provide a mechanism for the state to divert public funds to private or religious education. Although cast as a bill to provide scholarships to attend non-public schools for underprivileged students, it would permit families making up to $130,000 per year to get scholarships as well. Additionally, it hurts public education by taking money OUT of our needy school system. This bill has been referred to committee, where it is expected to move quickly to a floor vote.

Sending public money to private schools is specifically prohibited by our state Constitution, and the legislature knows it. That’s why they are also moving to pass a bill that would remove that prohibition from the state Constitution. If passed by both houses, that would require a referendum be put to the voters, however, there is no provision in SC for a binding referendum. So even if the voters panned the move, the Legislature is not bound by it.

Another bill will offer tax credits that could total as much as $100 million dollars to private and religious schools. That’s money that is not going into the state treasury and will impact not only education funding, but other state departments as well.

And there’s a bill to prohibit the teaching of unnamed “concepts”. This bill also has a punishment clause and methods for the general public to have oversight and review of the curriculum and instructional materials. It’s a loosely worded blank-check to interfere with every aspect of educational instruction. 

What can we do?

Join us for phone banking. Our goal is to increase awareness of these bills and activate voters to make calls to their legislators. We’ve set up several dates over the next two weeks and are working with the Greenville County Democratic Party to set up call lists and reach party regulars who have indicated education is very important to them to help make calls.

To reach as many voters as possible we need as many phone bankers as we can get. Phone banking can be done together in person (location TBA) or virtually from your own home. 

You’ll have a script and a calling list accessible on a phone, tablet, or laptop. You will need to bring your own phone and it will be much easier for you if you can bring a laptop or tablet as well. 

Dates for in-person calling are Tuesday-Thursday Feb. 28-March 2 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Tuesday-Thursday, March 7-March 9 from 4:30 to 6:30, and Sunday March 5 and 12 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

We may adjust the schedule as we see how many phone bank volunteers sign up.

There is some urgency to this: These bills are moving quickly. Thank you in advance for help DWGC and the GCDP to mobilize voters’ voices on these important issues.

Have questions? Contact me @

Be the change you want to see: Help the party with a much-needed donation or volunteer to help!