Gov. Nikki Haley wasn’t the only constitutional officer sworn into office Wednesday.
Other new officers sworn in were Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, R-Florence, state Treasurer Curtis Loftis, R-Lexington, and state Superintendent of Education Mick Zais, R-Newberry.
While Ard and Loftis succeed outgoing Republicans, Zais’ election captured for the GOP the last statewide office previously held by a Democrat.
“My mission as state superintendent is for every one of our students, from their first day of school, to be prepared to graduate from high school and to maximize their success in the workforce, the military or higher education,” Zais said.
“Every dollar spent on education will be accounted for and directly connected to the classrooms of our state. Funding should be based on the students served, not the programs operated, and expenditures should be transparent to the public.
“Every student and parent should expect academic progress every year,” he said. “Parents will have choices in the educational options for their children, and teachers and principals will have choices in the educational communities they lead. In today’s classroom, one size doesn’t fit all.”
Zais said the state’s budget problems should not keep lawmakers from passing education reforms. “By putting our focus on what is in the best interests of students and parents, we will build a strong foundation for the future prosperity of South Carolina.”