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South Carolina

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

ACORN describes itself as the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate-income families, with over 120,000 member families organized into 600 neighborhood chapters in 45 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action on many of the political and social issues which concern its members. ACORN's priorities include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. ACORN hopes to achieve these goals by supporting community-based organizations that have the power to affect change locally-- through direct action, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation.

A list of contact information for the ACORN offices in South Carolina can be found on the ACORN website.

South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center

The South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center (SCALJC) describes its mission as changing or improving laws in order to serve the economic, social, educational, and legislative needs of traditionally underrepresented groups. SCALJC, which is over twenty years old, works on projects in such fields as Family Law and Policy, Community Economic Development, and Education Law and Policy. The Education Law and Policy division, with the support of the South Carolina Rural Education Grassroots Committee, has just released a report, Building Strong Rural Schools in South Carolina: The Foundations We Need. The report identifies six foundations necessary for the survival and flourishing of rural schools and gives policy recommendations it deems necessary for meeting the foundation goals.

Director: Sue Berkowitz
P.O. Box 7187
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: (803) 779-1113

South Carolina Rural Education Grassroots Committee

The stated goal of the South Carolina Rural Education Grassroots Committee is to contribute the points of view of its membership of rural citizens, teachers, principals, and school board members to education policymaking. The Committee was formed in December 2001, when these parties gathered to discuss their concerns about rural schools in South Carolina amidst state budget shortfalls, midyear cuts, and new testing and accountability requirements. The Committee met regularly over the next year to discuss the common needs of rural schools, review data, and exchange strategies for success. In March 2003, the Committee, with the support of the South Carolina Appleseed Justice Center, released a report, Building Strong Rural Schools: The Foundations We Need. The report details policy recommendations for ensuring that rural schools remain at the heart of their communities. The Committee plans to work in 2003 to gather support for the recommendations, and it has been invited to make a presentation on its policy and advocacy work at South Carolina's School Improvement Council Conference in April 2003.

Public Education Network Local Affiliates:

Alliance for Quality Education

The Alliance for Quality Education is a volunteer organization with the stated purpose of promoting and improving public education in Greenville County. The Alliance works to achieve its goals by contributions to schools and the advocacy of quality public education.

Ms. Grier Mullins, Executive Director
P.O. Box 2264
Greenville, SC 29602
Phone: (864) 233-4133
Fax: (864) 233-4137 (call first)
To contact by e-mail

Charleston Education Network

Charleston Education Network describes that its mission is to require and promote one of the best system of public education in America. Its purpose is to serve as an insistent, permanent catalyst for positive change in Charleston public schools; to help establish a two-way accountability relationship between the community and its public schools; to insist on high quality educational results for all children.

Mr. Jon Butzon, Executive Director
P.O. Box 21966
Charleston, SC 29413 1966
Phone: (843) 953-5301
Fax: (843) 953-7258

The Education Foundation

The Education Foundation describes its work as motivated by the belief that improving public education is too big a task for schools and school districts to undertake alone. Business and community leaders must serve as the advocates for radical change in our schools.

Ms. Stacey Denaux, Executive Director
P.O. Box 975
Charleston, SC 29402
Phone: (843) 805-3058
Fax: (843) 723-4853

Pee Dee Education Foundation

The mission of the Pee Dee Education Foundation, in partnership with concerned business and education leaders, is to promote excellence in public education in the eight counties of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. In promoting such excellence, the Foundation hopes to develop and implement innovative programs that inspire our children to learn, challenge them to reach their full potential, prepare them to be informed citizens and help them to attain skills they need to compete in a global market.

Mr. Tom Truitt, Acting Executive Director
520 Francis Marion Road
Florence, SC 29506
Phone: (843) 669-3391
Fax: (843) 669-3393

Public Education Partners

Public Education Partners states that its mission is to facilitate and support the development of programs and incentives that complement the work of the Aiken County School District and improve public education.

Ms. Diane Mangiante, Executive Director
P.O. Box 3821
Aiken, SC 29802
Phone: (803) 649-9040