Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday she will be taking on what she called “the big bear in the room” when she presents a package of bills to improve public education in South Carolina to state lawmakers in January.

ONLINE: For more political news, go to or

Haley, who has not yet released the plan developed over the past year, said it will include proposals to improve education in the state during the next decade.

She said she has been meeting during the past year with everyone from lawmakers of both parties to educators, people who homeschool their children, university deans and business people, among others.

“We have come up with — what I don’t think will be a one-year silver bullet because there’s not one — but what I do think could be a great eight- to 10-year plan on how to truly reform and improve K-12 education in South Carolina,” the governor said.

Haley made the comments while in Charleston during one of a series of news conferences she has been holding around the state to push for ethics reform in the General Assembly next year. She was asked about her legislative priorities for the upcoming session beyond getting an ethics bill passed.

“You will see us take on the big bear in the room, as I call it, which is K-12 education,” Haley said.

She said when she was elected that her priority was jobs in a state reeling from the Great Recession.

“As the jobs started coming in, it was very much about making sure our South Carolinians are getting these jobs,” she said, so the state focused on job training programs for new hires working with technical colleges and the state Commission on Higher Education.

“The one thing that’s left is we have do K though 12,” Haley said Monday.

She said there will be an upcoming announcement to detail the specifics of her education reform plan.