The ARP provides a wonderful opportunity for South Carolina to improve public education significantly.
A philosophy or core set of beliefs should undergird a plan of actions. Since Dr. Gilmore has overseen the most impoverished school district, Allendale for three years and has shown tremendous success, perhaps an adaptation of her fundamental thinking may be a good beginning point. If she's available and willing, she would be a valued resource in forming the philosophy to be used throughout the State.
If the state does not have a state wide student management system with a dashboard, this would be an excellent time to implement it. This would provide a real time quality management system for the entire state and enable local and state educators to monitor student progress more efficiently. It would also provide opportunities for making improvements much quicker than present systems. There is significant research indicating the three factors effecting student achievement are attendance, discipline, and class work. A dashboard system allows for real time evaluation beginning with the classroom and leading to building and district results. For example graduation rate goals could be set and closely monitored to reduced the prospect of students falling through the cracks. SMS vendors may now have dashboards as part of their systems. If this is the case then the state should examine possibilities to see how a statewide system could be implemented working with the vendors.
The results at the state level can reveal which districts are succeeding and which ones are struggling.
The ARP covers practically every aspect of student needs and provides resources to meet many of the known deficiencies. The physical needs of facilities and the capability to purchase necessary technology and other goods and services should be a great benefit to all districts.
The maintenance of effort/equity requirements limit SEAs and LEAs from replacing state and local funding with ARP funds, but plans must be made to find ways to assure improvements made due to ARP funding are not lost once the funding ends.
The STEAM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) Curriculum has gained prominence as an effective way to learn not only in the United States, but globally. The Florence School District in South Carolina trained sixty of their educators. In addition about another twenty educators throughout the state have received training in the STEAM Curriculum. Perhaps some research should be done to see if this may be something to implement statewide. The model was developed by Georgette Yakman in 2006. The website for STEAM Education is https://steamedu.com/.
The ARP addresses the common argument about not having the funds to get the job done. Of course everyone can always use more money, but this is a really opportunity to really upgrade the quality of education in South Carolina. Let's not waste it.