This New Law Ensures South Carolina Students Will Study the Founding Documents

Nikki-Haleyfrom – The Daily Signal – by Faith Vander Voort

Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed a South Carolina House bill into law that implements the study of U.S. founding documents into the state’s public high schools.

The South Carolina Founding Principles Act requires the study of the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and “the structure of the government and the role of separation of powers and the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights” to be added into statewide social studies programs.

This bill, signed June 1, reinforces South Carolina’s Section 59-29-120 that required all public education students, both in high school and in college, to pass a test after a year-long class on the founding documents and principles.

The Founding Principles Act bolsters the existing law by adding an accountability clause requiring the State Department of Education to report to the House and Senate Education Committees as well as the Public Works Committee every two years. This report will outline how South Carolina educators are teaching the documents in their classrooms.

State Rep. Chip Huggins, R-Lexington, told The Daily Signal, “I was just so worried about the erosion away from our foundation, and when I say that, I think it’s time we get back to the basics. The basics in which this country was founded. That’s exactly what we wanted to accomplish with this bill.”

Furthermore, teachers will be provided with “professional development opportunities” to ensure the subject is being properly taught.

“We now have the assurance that the founding principles will be taught.” @ChipHugginsSC

“A major part of forming future citizens capable of self-government is ensuring that they are properly educated in the founding documents of our nation,” Arthur Milikh, associate director for principles and politics at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email. “This was once common sense throughout America, but now we are forced to fight to ensure that even the most basic texts—the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence—are taught.”

“These works tell us about the nature of our country, the principles for which we stand, and the way to preserve our constitutional order. Should these texts be lost to students, the next generation will be ruled entirely by popular culture and public opinion,” Milikh wrote.

Huggins, the main sponsor of the bill, said the legislation “ensures that when the standards are rewritten, the founding principles will still be included.”

The Founding Principles Act, however, does not force South Carolina public colleges to do the same.

Section 59-29-120 states that “no student in any such school, college, or university may receive a certificate of graduation without previously passing a satisfactory examination upon the provisions and principles,” but does not hold either public high schools or colleges to that standard. The accountability aspect of The Founding Principles Act only applies to South Carolina public high schools.

Even though Huggins didn’t win the battle with mandating the founding principles into state college curriculums, he believes he won the war with high schools. He stated that the important thing is “we now have the assurance that the founding principles will be taught.”

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63 Comments on "This New Law Ensures South Carolina Students Will Study the Founding Documents"

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I could probably name a 100 reasons why this is a great idea. Traditional educational subject matter, the writings of our founding fathers, and traditional classical writers as well, are badly needed in our schools. History that is fairly represented and truthful is also important.
If the Jesse Waters, Jimmy Kimmel, and old Jay Leno “Person on the street” interviews are any indication, you get my point.
But again, for every 100 reasons that this is a good idea, folks in their right minds should agree with, we have two reasons that will shoot it down…the Teacher’s Union and the political candidates they support.

You are so right!

This is really refreshing and a wonderful start, to bad the colleges don’t pick it up. Way to go NikKi and thank you Representative Huggins.

This should be Nation wide. Understanding the principles this Country is based on is essential.

Maybe Gov. Haley should have made a run for the White House. I agree that our founding fundamentals need to be taught in our schools but it needs to start in Grammar School. We had to past a Constitution test in the 8th grade before entering High School. It bothers me that we are now removing part of our History by removing Confederate symbols because it may offend someone. Our Liberal Government is destroying this once Great Country. We the people need to take it back and make this Country Great once again.

I’m from the deep south and we even had to memorize the “Gettysburg Address”, what a great speech. Also, we didn’t “down” Lincoln as so many are doing now, most of whom have been taught “reconstruction” history. Leave all symbols that tell our history whether in south or north, east or west intact; it is all a part of our history, very simple to understand, not hate symbols.

Good job! Although it seems sad that a law was required to effect that should never have been eliminated from public (or private, for that matter!) education at any and all levels.

My sentiments, exactly. We need brave, noble, G_d fearing and patriotic teachers to do this.

I lost respect for her about the conferate flag and also she wanted to take in all those Serian refugees, but her last thing may redeem her a little with me. In every public school in this country it should also be mandatory for the kids to say The Pledge of Allegiance and sing our National Anthem. The taxpayers are paying the bill for public education and there should be some demands put on them for national pride, contrary to those who hate our country including Obama.


She had no choice but to sign it. Research the voting records of S.C. Senate and House of Reps.on this issue. Nikki Haley did every thing that she could to destroy history by her removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from South Carolina. She is NO friend of ours! Remember NO votes for turncoats!

It should have been a requirement ever since the founding. So happy that at least one state is putting it into practice. Get rid of all the other “gobbletydook” and get back to “basics” in the schools, including teaching the three Rs, writing script as opposed to “testing”, with some manners and courtesy thrown in.

The Rev. Marlene MN. Clark

thank God!

If I am reading this correct, it will insure that all young people in the public school system will leave knowing what our forefathers intended this country to stand for and they can have knowledge to help keep it the way it was meant to be and not the corrupt way it is turning into. If this is right, thank you. Our states need to take this country back.

This is why a Convention of States is needed, to reign in the Federal Government and it’s overreach. This is the only way we the people will be able to take our country back. Congress will never vote for term limits (also needed for Supreme Court), a balanced budget or offer to reduce the power they have.

Every school in the Country should be mandated to do this…………if we take teaching this OUT of schools, in a couple of generations people will have NO IDEA what it is to be an American……kinda what has happened over the last 20 years. Our History of this Country is what makes it special and to NOT teach it to future generations would be a grievous offense against the thousands of patriots who gave their lives for the FREEDOM of this Country….HAT’S OFF TO YOU GOV.

About time we went back to real learning in school we have gotten away from it suding to pass test for teachers insted of about our country and where we came from

Of course, someone will file a lawsuit and then a liberal judge at the federal district court of appeals will file an injunction to stop this new law, just the way they reversed all the other laws that were passed to try and restore some sanity to our society! It is over, folks! The America that we grew up in is gone! I am 72-years old and just hope that it holds together long enough for me to shed this “mortal coil” and get out of this mess! I really feel for the younger generations! They will just keep going on as in the days of Noah!

I’m 85 and still hope and pray that somehow we’ll repent and G_d will bless us once again.

So the same progressive teachers that already populate our public school systems and who use the politically biased textbooks of Howard Zinn, the content of which has been used to push the progressive view of America and its history, are going to be teaching these courses on the Founding documents. So here’s my question: Who is going to be regularly monitoring these classes from the State to ensure these classes are being taught as intended (the actual history and meaning of these documents as written by the Founders) as opposed to these progressive teachers simply using these classes as another means to vilify both these documents and the Founders? If the answer is no one, then this is largely a political exercise to attempt to improve the image of Nikki Haley and certain other S.C. politicians that caved to the pressure of progressives.

Agreed. There needs to be aggressive oversight of these teachers to ensure their liberal/hateful bias is not injected into the subject matter. Strict, mandatory penalties up to and including immediate dismissal must be administered as part of this program.

I agree with you entirely with what you have submitted here.

Exactly my fear. You can “teach” these documents and disparage them as the ramblings of “dead old white men” at the same time.

I agree with you 100%

Nikki Haley can’t undo the damage she has done. Those who honor the sacrifices their ancestors made for the Confederacy deserve to not have the history of that era obliterated from US culture and memory. The flag isn’t about discrimination or slavery; it’s part of understanding our heritage. The carnage of the war was awful, of course, but part of the nation we are (or should I say used to be) is because of that war. I’m not a southerner. I don’t have ancestors who fought that war. But I was brought up knowing and understanding the US, our culture, our history, our traditions. Nikki Haley was not, and it shows. Now she’s trying to undo the damage she’s done? The only way the damage can be undone is to elect leaders who were brought up culturally with a memory of what the US we want to save was like.
I’m glad you brought this up. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and have lived most of my life here. The secession of the southern states due to the illegal oppressive governing policies of the northern legislatures was a legal move granted to those states in the Declaration of Independence. Students need to learn the main reason for southern secession was not the issue of slavery. Abraham Lincoln’s policies were basically tyrannical. The constitution forbids the taxation of interstate commerce which the north was placing on goods produced in the south and sold in the northern states. The purpose of political correctness is to suppress truth and distort it. I hope the Confederate flag never disappears because it is a part of every American’s history. Robert E. Lee is one of the greatest examples of statesmanship and stood for the preservation of Republican government which includes the sovereignty of… Read more »

Fear not. The flag still flies in more places than you would imagine!

Very true. I live in NC and you can’t drive a mile from my house in any direction and not see a Confederate flag.

I hope North Carolina and other states will follow your lead and do the same. Thanks!

Wow! It is a shame that, in this country, there has to be a law to teach America’s founding principles and documents. Kudos to South Carolina! As said from The Heritage Foundation; “This was once common sense throughout America, but now we are forced to fight to ensure that even the most basic texts—the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence—are taught.”

Touché, Gov Nikki Haley Hopefully Gov. Haley has already made sure there is monitoring of these classes, and the intended teachings of the historical meaning and significance of these Great American Documents. American educational systems as a whole have lost site of teaching students true historical data. The politically correct have made sure their agenda is what is taught in these class rooms; along with information that will in no way help students on their way to responsibility, adulthood and good decision making. Some of the curriculum in American schools today do not help foster love of fellow man and country. China, Japan and several other countries make sure their children are taught their country’s history. The American educational system has left the necessary courses IE, reading, reading comprehension, writing, science and mathematics this later according to some news media has been taken off the curriculum in the USA. This… Read more »

this is the best news I have heard in a very long time!!! I am a former college teacher and a conservative, and therefore pretty much an outcast. If only, If only, we could persuade other legislative bodies to do the same. MY RESPECTS TO Mr. HUGGINS!!!!

God bless South Carolina.

I would suggest that all states should additionally pass a stature requiring the study of basic principles of economics in which students understand what happens when “redistribution” of wealth occurs. It is obvious that most politicians today and a large percentage of voting constituency do not understand that nothing is free and everything has a cost attached to it.

It would be better to get the federal government out of education, and the state government as much as possible. How about letting these decisions be made locally? The nearer the decisions are to the people, the more control we have over the outcomes. That’s true for EVERYTHIG.