A leading opponent of Common Core state education standards and abstinence-only sex education advocate has entered the race for state schools’ chief.
Republican Sheri Few of Lugoff announced her bid for the GOP nomination Friday on the steps of the S.C. Department of Education in Columbia.
Few joins a widening field of candidates for the state’s highest education post. State Reps. Mike Anthony, D-Union, and Andy Patrick, R-Beaufort, have announced they are running for the seat.
Montrio Belton, a Fort Mill Democrat, and Gary Burgess, a Pendleton Republican, also have said they will run.
Few said eliminating Common Core education standards would be her top priority.
Few said she has studied public education policy, and through a nonprofit she started in 2000, “have worked to protect our children from the liberal biases found in nearly every discipline of public education,” she said.
If elected, Few said she would “use every resource available” to ensure parents and teachers are making educational decisions, prevent “federal government overreach” into the state’s education policy, and advocate for curriculum "that teaches truth and is not laden with anti-Christian and anti-American rhetoric.”
Few got involved in the fight against Common Core, adopted by the state in 2010, about a year ago, after Jane Robbins with the American Principles Project contacted her about the Common Core standards, she said.
Few has been traveling the state campaigning against the standards, an approach she says she excels at having worked on political campaigns.
Few was state director for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination. She also consulted briefly for state Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington. That relationship ended with Few suing Shealy for compensation, Shealy counter-suing and both dropping their lawsuits.
Few ran unsuccessfully for the state House in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Few also is the founder, president and CEO of S.C. Parents Involved in Education -- a nonprofit that developed abstinence-based sex education curriculum for schools and provides teacher training. The nonprofit, formed in 2000, has received about $1 million in state money for its abstinence programs since 2008.
Before creating the nonprofit, Few said she was a “stay-at-home mom” raising her three children, who all attended public schools. That experience inspired her to get involved in education issues, she said.