Amendment to expand 4-year-old kindergarten across SC gets passed, will be added to education bill


COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) - State Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw) on Thursday announced that his amendment to the Education Reform Bill (s.419) to vastly expand 4 year old kindergarten across the state was passed in the state senate.

Sheheen said nearly 13,000 children who are considered at risk will be eligible for both public and private 4K programs under this amendment. With these numbers in addition to the existing Head Start program in South Carolina, 14,536 children will have access to 4-K programs. Families in Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Dorchester, Greenville, Lancaster, Lexington, Pickens, Richland, Spartanburg, and York Counties will benefit from the expansion, Sheheen said.

“This is a matter I’m extremely passionate about, and have long been an advocate for” said Senator Sheheen in a news release. “Expanding access to 4-year-old kindergarten will help prepare thousands of students for the learning they’ll need to do when they reach 5-K and first grade. Children who are considered at risk need extra resources to raise them up to grade level abilities. Expanding 4K programs like we did in this amendment sends a clear message that South Carolina is serious about improving education— from when a child learns to read to when they prepare for college. I’m proud of my colleagues today for standing with children and the future of our state.”

The amendment passed the South Carolina Senate with a vote of 40-1.

Read the full bill here: s.419.

There are more than 100 additional proposed amendments that the Senate will address before a vote on the full bill.