Gov. Haley thanks House for education budget - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Gov. Haley thanks House for education budget

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Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley says the House budget takes a historic step in providing a good education to all South Carolina students.

Haley thanked the House on Wednesday for adopting an education plan she unveiled in January after a series of meetings with teachers, administrators, legislators and business leaders.

"What I'm most excited about, what I really want to celebrate today is that the South Carolina House has followed our lead and said we are no longer going to education children based on where they live," said Gov. Haley. "We are now going to start educating children based on the fact that they all deserve to know what the American Dream feels like, they deserve to know what success feels like. The House has done its part to pass this historic reform, it's now time for the Senate to do the same."

It provides more money to students in poor, rural districts without taking money away from other districts. Changes include a first-ever weighting for poverty, which means an additional $97 million would be spent on students who qualify for free- and reduced-price meals.

Democrats have long fought for such a weighting. Rep. Kenny Bingham says the governor pushing for the change made the difference.

"It started with Governor Haley's State of the State address when she said that education was going to be a priority," said Bingham. "When the governor puts her stamp of approval on something, when she leads the effort, when she's inclusive like she was, it makes transformation possible, and without that, transformation is not possible. This was a heavy lift because this is a historic change and it was brought about by the governor's leadership and I'm thankful for that and the state of South Carolina should be thankful to her – K-12 is the big winner in this year's budget."

In all, the House budget package sent Wednesday to the Senate adds more than $180 million to K-12 education.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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