Winnsboro, South Carolina , United States
Aug 24, 2015 02:29am
|Info||Jim Rex has spent his career as a teacher and public education leader and ran for his first political office in 2006 because he was so concerned about the challenges facing public education in South Carolina. Since then, he has worked in a bipartisan way to move South Carolina’s schools forward with an approach that has won him praise from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. |
Rex grew up poor and worked in construction and in a factory after high school before realizing the importance of education for getting ahead. He went to college and became a high school English teacher and football coach, a college dean, and university president. During that time, he has even run his own shrimp boat and managed a small farm near his home on Lake Wateree.
Now, as State Superintendent of Education, Rex is leading the state’s largest and most complex agency while accomplishing dramatic, entrepreneurial-based innovations in our public schools and giving parents and students a vast array of choices. Under his leadership, South Carolina has become a national leader in single-gender education, increased the number of public Montessori schools, and increased the number of magnet and charter schools. At the same time, Rex has demanded tough new accountability measures, including firing bad teachers, rewarding talented teachers with better pay, and holding local school boards accountable for using taxpayer dollars wisely. The Department of Education budget has been cut by 20% under his leadership, but despite these cuts, his innovations and accountability measures are showing promising signs of success. Under Rex’s leadership, SAT scores have risen more than any state in the nation, and South Carolina was named the number one state in the nation for improving its on-time high school graduation rate.
Jim Rex firmly believes that we need to continue the progress in our educational system for South Carolina to be competitive in today’s global economy. He knows that we are not just competing with North Carolina and Georgia for jobs – we are competing with China and India. Believing that he can accomplish even more as Governor, he now wants to take his proven leadership, vision for a brighter future, and plan for getting us there to the Governor’s office. As Governor, he will work to bring both parties together to get things done for the people of South Carolina, instead of just taking care of special interests and lobbyists.
Jim and his wife, Sue, are members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Blythewood. They share four children: Adam, Nathan, Jeff, and Siri.
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