House approves borrowing $200M annually for K-12 schools

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina House has approved borrowing up to $200 million annually for building and repairing K-12 schools.

The House voted 98-5 Tuesday on legislation meant to partly address the state Supreme Court’s ruling in November 2014 that the Legislature must do more to provide educational opportunities in poor, rural school districts.

Borrowing would not begin until next year. The proposal first requires a statewide evaluation of districts’ infrastructure needs. Legislators would then get a priority list of projects approved by the State Board of Education.

Gov. Nikki Haley proposed the idea in January, saying she can’t ignore the leaky roofs, moldy walls and other unsafe conditions in schools she visits. She said then that education includes improving the buildings where students spend most of their day.