Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Dr. Sam Evans (Director), Dr. Antony D. Norman and Dr. Kristin Wilson
Educational Leadership Doctoral Program
Doctor of Education
Like many southern states, South Carolina has a history permeated by issues related to race, equity, and educational opportunity. As early as the 1949 South Carolina court case, Briggs v. Elliott, South Carolina has had to address issues of equity and educational opportunity among its disenfranchised and marginalized citizenry. More than 60 years later, in Abbeville County School District et al. v. the State of South Carolina et al., sectors of rural South Carolina, predominantly black and poverty laden, would unite and engage in a legal battle with the State over equity in public education and by judicial mandate, be forced to look inward for education reform.
The Abbeville County School District et al. v. the State of South Carolina et al. court case has shaped the legislative and education landscape throughout the entire state of South Carolina, and is poised to continue to do so. The South Carolina Supreme Court’s finding of an opportunity gap promulgated primarily by inadequate school funding resulted in the State of South Carolina failing to meet its constitutional burden to provide a minimally adequate education. The response of the Plaintiffs and Defendants to the South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling and order to reform education places education at the forefront of issues facing South Carolina and its most vulnerable children, schools, and communities.
The purpose of this case study is to document the history of the inception of Abbeville County School District et al. v. the State of South Carolina et al., outline the judicial action and South Carolina Supreme Court’s final ruling in the case, and analyze the response of the Plaintiffs and Defendants in relation to the court’s ruling and mandate. This case study is supported by a document analysis comprised of primary and secondary sources related to the Abbeville case. This case study is intended to be a complete historical study of Abbeville County School District et al. v. the State of South Carolina et al. (through the South Carolina Supreme Court’s final ruling and the Plaintiff and Defendant court mandated response) and to provide insight into the issues facing the “Corridor of Shame” Plaintiffs and students in poverty and the schools that serve them. Further, this research is intended to be a study of judicial finding, legislation, policy, and educational plans meant to remedy educational inequity. Last, this study is intended to shine a light on the “Corridor of Shame” court case so that those children, schools, and communities may become children, schools, and communities in a “Corridor of Hope.”
Education Economics | Education Law | Education Policy
Hein, Jennifer Michelle, "Litigation in Search of Educational Opportunity: An Analysis of Abbeville County School District et al. v. The State of South Carolina et al." (2017). Dissertations. Paper 132.