This week a little has trickled out regarding proposed budget cuts, and it seems anything related to public schools in SC is high on the chopping blocks (of course minus any initiatives that support school choice, a separate agenda by our politicians.) It has become PAINFULLY obvious that our new governor Nikki Haley and our new state superintendent of education Mick Zais haven’t a clue how schools DEPEND on the resources SCETV provided to our schools (and yes, even their favored private schools.) It is high on the list as a potential cut.
What do teachers in SC get from SCETV?
- Standards aligned, grade appropriated, commercial free, unbiased television programming
- Discovery Streaming–a searchable resources, but SCETV has worked to have it aligned to our SC Standards, and created a portal called StreamlineSC so SC teachers can search for educational resources (that cross the gamut of video, audio, images, lesson plans, planning guides, etc.) that are aligned to our classroom standards
- OnePlaceSC.org is a portal created through partnerships with SCETV that allows educators to search standards based in a variety of resources, including all of SCETV, PBS, Thinkfinity, DISCUS (our state virtual library–which is on the chopping block too by the way) and more! It’s a one stop shop to help plan engaging lessons.
- Free workshops for SCETV resources and MORE (their workshops integrate everything that makes a classroom more engaging; they just highlight SCETV resources where appropriate.) FREE–dont forget, FREE
- Free site trainings. They will come to your school or district FREE to give hands on training in a variety of resources. FREE.
An article was in the paper this week, I’m sure to raise ire in taxpayers and educators alike, and making many draw a line in the sand. Many of the comments have pointed to serious accusations of wasteful spending, but many also are those who a realizing what assett our state loses should it be cut. Supporters and naysayers alike can be found in the comments.
Here is one that I was PLEASED to read–someone who seriously gets what the potential loss is if we lose it:
Did you miss the part of the article that explained that the public fund drives are only able to pay for programming and not for operations, buildings, and salaries. What this means – let me spell it out for you – ETV CANNOT make up the difference in donations. They are not allowed to.
Did you also miss the part of the article that explained that the actual TV programming for the public is a very small part of what ETV does. The great loss to our state will not be the loss of what is broadcast to the public, even though that too will be a significant loss since the quality and breadth of the programming is NOT duplicated on all those other channels you mention. No, the great loss to our state will be in the services ETV provides to the public schools in content and through the vehicle of Streamline ETV. This useful tool has made it very easy for teachers to access quality educational programs over the internet to stream directly into their classrooms. The content is all correlated to state standards and programs are broken down into short segments so that teachers can use a short clip to illustrate a concept quickly and easily. Much of this programming is produced in house directly for schools – and is never broadcast on the public channels. The ability to search by standard and be able to play a clip instantly to illustrate a particular concept is SO POWERFUL in teaching. You have no idea. Especially when the children you are teaching may live in very poor rural areas and have limited life experiences so that without being able to see it in this fashion, they truly would have very little way of conceptualizing what you are talking about.
The other loss is savings to other state agencies who are able to use ETV as an in-house production agency for their media needs.
Another loss is federal funding bringing things like broadband to rural areas of the state, but which will be lost without state matching funds, and in fact put the state in further debt since we will be responsible for repaying the federal government the portion they’ve put in if we renege on our responsibility before the end of the grant period.
I know hard choices have to be made, but it will help if we could all be on the same page and have our facts straight. People please pay attention and know what you are talking about so we can have a serious discussion about the hard choices.