My thanks to The Post and Courier for highlighting the need for a statewide voice on public education reform. For over two years, South Carolina Future Minds has been studying other statewide and regional models, including discussions with members of the Columbia Group mentioned in the Jan. 6 article, with the hope of replicating their success.

While our efforts in laying the foundation for such an effort have been met with unanimous support from business, philanthropy and education partners, we are missing one critical variable: funding.

The vast majority of private funding for public education goes to direct service programs or regional initiatives, or both. And that contributes to the lack of a statewide advocacy voice.

The “Minimally Adequate” series touched on the role of business in improving public education, and here’s one more suggestion for companies who care: Invest in nonpartisan, research-based advocacy that will support smart decision-making by our legislators.

Select businesses such as BlueCross BlueShield, Bojangles’ and Comporium are putting their dollars on the line. But until more business and philanthropy stakeholders recognize with their checkbooks the need for a statewide initiative, we will continue to operate in silos and fall short of our collective potential.

Caroline Mauldin

Darlington Avenue