Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. Steve Lynn

First Reader

Dan D'Alberto

Second Reader

Dan D'Alberto


This thesis is a legislative research project on the South Carolina Education, Career Opportunity, and Access for All Act, proposed by the South Carolina General Assembly on January 24, 2019. I begin by exploring the history of the modern public education reform movement in South Carolina, reviewing related legislation over the last half-century, and focusing on the cornerstone South Carolina Supreme Court case Abbeville County School District v. The State of South Carolina. Next, the South Carolina Education, Career Opportunity, and Access for All Act provides the basis for a comprehensive summary of all statutory reforms attempted by this proposed piece of legislation and of all amendments adopted to the bill by the South Carolina House of Representatives. I include transcripts of two interviews: one with bill sponsor Representative Rita Allison (R-Spartanburg) and one with bill opponent Senator Mike Fanning (D-Fairfield). These interviews provide background on the research and drafting of the bill, firsthand accounts of the bill’s journey through the legislative process, and expert analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the bill in its current form. I conclude with my own critical analysis of the bill’s major provisions, regarding their viability and effectiveness as solutions to the key issues currently facing South Carolina’s public education system.

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© 2019, Francis Halloran