MORNING BUZZ: Should Common Core stay -- for now?

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN and JAMIE SELF on February 19, 2014 

About 100 adults and children protested the Common Core state standards at the S.C. Department of Education in November. Speakers included Republican state Sen. Lee Bright, a U.S. senate candidate who is a cosponsor to a Senate bill that would stop The Common Core standards, which S.C. Public schools are fully using in all grades.


— Lawmakers will try to find common ground today on how they should address dissatisfaction over the highly contentious Common Core education standards.

Protesters calling for lawmakers to repeal the education standards will rally at the State House at noon.

But it’s possible that senators, by then, may have taken up a plan they say will place the standards, and the tests that assess them, more firmly in the hands of state education leaders.

A Senate K-12 education panel will take up a bill that would stop Common Core from being implemented in the state at a 9 a.m. hearing.

But many classroom teachers already are using those standards.

Recognizing the challenge — and disruptive potential — of asking districts to stop Common Core in their schools, lawmakers are mulling leaving the standards in place, for now.

Top Clicks

State bonuses questioned: Last year, almost all of state government’s 56,000 employees did not get a pay raise. But 14 workers shared $1.4 million in state-approved bonuses. Now, some House lawmakers are questioning those bonuses, threatening to reduce or eliminate them. Full story

Local governments can buy state roads: The S.C. House’s main budget-writing panel voted Tuesday to allow counties and cities to buy some state roads. Full story

Haley heading to the Great White North: Gov. Nikki Haley is heading to Canada to recruit jobs next month, her office said. Full story

60 days of name recognition: An anti-Lindsey Graham group wants a 60 day primary runoff, saying the state’s two-week runoff period violates federal law’s governing how much time absentee ballots must be sent to voters in advance of an election. Full story

Gun bill shot down: The Senate Judiciary Committee struck down a bill, sponsored by state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, that would have allowed people to carry firearms concealed or not, with or without permits. Full story

Billion dollar plant landing in SC: A Tokyo-based supplier to Boeing’s 787 aircraft manufacturing plant in North Charleston said it will invest $1 billion and create 500 jobs over the next decade at a new global facility in Spartanburg County. Full story

Happening today

• Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell and Sen. Thomas Alexander, an Oconee Republican who chairs the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging, will hold a new conference at 11 a.m. at the state House to discuss new legislation to reform and update the state's laws protecting seniors from abuse.

Gov. Nikki Haley's public schedule today

• 11:30 a.m.: Speak at the S.C. Automotive Council’s S.C. Automotive Summit at The Hyatt in Greenville.

State House clicks

Different kind of State House protection: A system of shock absorbers at the State House were installed back when the building was going through renovations in the 1990s help protect the building during the recent earthquake. The price tag, $11 million. Full story

Parole bill sent back to panel: A bill to expand the types of crimes covered by the state’s no-parole law is being sent back to subcommittee in part so the state’s acting director of prisons can study it more. Full story

Tips for passing a responsible budget?

One S.C. House member was catching up on their reading of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition on Tuesday.

SC Clicks

Catawbas’ SC Supreme Court case online: Oral arguments and court filings in the Catawba Indian Nation’s lawsuit against South Carolina over a casino are now posted on the S.C. Supreme Court’s website as part of an education program. Full story

Orangeburg hospital patients warned about bats: South Carolina health officials want anyone who stayed in the east wing of an Orangeburg hospital this year to call them. The Department of Health and Environmental Control says those patients at the Regional Medical Center could have been exposed to bats and might have a possibility of contracting rabies from a bat bite. Full story

Toll road on way to recovery: Two years after it emerged from bankruptcy, things are looking brighter for the Southern Connector, and leaders say the toll road with a complicated history now has a clear path ahead. Full story

No cards here: South Carolina's towns and counties would no longer be able to charge taxpayers a processing fee for credit card payments under a proposed ban in the state budget. Full story

Teacher performance plan stalls: A bill creating a statewide evaluation system for teachers that ties their pay to students' performance stalled Tuesday in the House, with opponents arguing it creates unnecessary confusion. Full story

Snow days turn into slow days for tourism towns?: Grand Strand tourism leaders hope the winter weather doesn’t come back to haunt the beach come June. Some students in the beach’s tourism feeder markets who have been kept out of class by the snow and ice might have to make up those days at the end of the school year, which could delay their vacations until later June or July. That could mean a slow start to summer for Myrtle Beach tourism. Full story

Gowdy tours job training center: Employees at Workability shook hands with U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy Tuesday and told him about their jobs. Workability, an affiliate of the Charles Lea Center, provides jobs and job training for people with disabilities and special needs. Full story

Jafza land for sale:A Middle Eastern development company that once promised to invest $700 million and bring close to 10,000 jobs to Orangeburg County is selling land it bought near Santee. Jafza South Carolina LLC has put 1,300 acres of its land up for sale for $17.5 million. But Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson said Dubai-based Jafza remains committed to the county and the large project. Full story>

Election Cilcks

Conservation endorsement for Sheheen: The Conservation Voters of South Carolina endorsed Vincent Sheheen for governor on Tuesday, saying they were "announcing our endorsement earlier than ever before because we will do more than ever before in this election." Full story

Haey canceled fundraiser to monitor storm: Gov. Nikki Haley canceled a re-election fundraiser scheduled in Houston last weekend so she could monitor emergency response after a winter storm crippled much of the state, her campaign said. Full story

McKinney stumps in the Upstate: Pat McKinney, a Republican running for lieutenant governor, made a bid for the Upstate’s evangelical and social conservative voters Tuesday, picking up a ringing endorsement from national Christian broadcaster David Jeremiah in Greenville. McKinney is a longtime board member of Jeremiah’s San Diego-based ministry, Turning Point Ministries, both men said. Full story

Crowded classroom for state ed job: University of South Carolina math professor Don Jordan announced Tuesday his GOP candidacy for Superintendent of Education. Full story

Leatherman fundraiser

Former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster held a fundraiser for Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, at his home on Tuesday:

State House meetings


Full body meets at 2 p.m.

• 9 a.m.: Finance Constitutional Subcommittee Budget Hearing (Gressette 407)

• 9 a.m.: General Committee on S. 764 and S. 842 (Gressette 408)

• 9 a.m.: First Congressional District Delegation (Gressette 209)

• 9 a.m.: Education K-12 Subcommittee (Gressette 308)

• 10 a.m.: Higher Education Subcommittee on S. 93, H. 3086 and H. 3784 (Gressette 406)

• 10 a.m.: Fish, Game and Forestry Committee (Gressette 209)

• 10 a.m.: Judiciary Subcommittee on S.723 and S.755 (Gressette 307)

• 11 a.m.: Labor, Commerce and Industry Subcommittee (Gressette 407)

• 11 a.m.: Transportation Committee (Gressette 209)

• 11 a.m.: Finance Property Tax Subcommittee on S. 511 and S. 964 (Gressette 307)

• 11 a.m.: Medical Affairs Subcommittee (Gressette 207)

• 11 a.m.: Judiciary Subcommittee on S.520 (Gressette 105)

• 11 a.m.: Judiciary Subcommittee on S.811 and S.866 (Gressette 308)

• 12 p.m.: Corrections and Penology Committee (Gressette 209)


Full body meets at 10 a.m.

• 9 a.m., 3-M Subcommittee VI, Other Occupational Regulation and Licensing Boards (Blatt Room 427)

• 9 a.m., Agriculture Environmental Affairs II Subcommittee on H.4574 (Blatt Room 410)

• 9 a.m., Judiciary Election and Ethics Laws Subcommittee on H.3177, H.3198, H.3803 and H.4364 (Blatt Room 516)

• 9 a.m., Legislative Group (Rep. Don Bowen) (Blatt Room 321)

• a.m., Legislative Group (Rep. Ralph Kennedy) (Blatt Room 305)

• 9:30 a.m., Leadership Charleston (Blatt Room 110)

• 10 a.m. -- S.C .Association of Probate Judges (Blatt Room 108)

• 1½ hours after the House adjourns, Education and Public Works Committee on H.3428, H.3994 and H.4419 (Blatt Room 433)

• 1 p.m., Legislative Group (Rep. Alan Clemmons) (Blatt Room 108)

• 1 p.m., Legislative Group (Rep. Don Bowen) (Blatt Room 318)

• 2:30 p.m., Environmental Affairs I Subcommittee (Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs) (Blatt Room 410)


• 9 a.m., First Congressional District Delegation (Gressette Room 209)

• 9:30 a.m., Charleston County Legislative Delegation (Blatt 308)


• 8 a.m., S.C. Association of Probate Judges breakfast (Blatt Room 112)

• Noon, Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School luncheon (Blatt Room 112)

• 6 p.m., South Carolina Association of Counties reception (Embassy Suites Hotel)

• 7 p.m., Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolina (Hilton Columbia Center)

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