Senator Allen’s father instilled the value of a strong education into his children from an early age. By 8th grade, Senator Allen recognized the impact education could have on the marginalized in his community space. He applied his father’s advice in his own life and it has been part of his life mission to make sure others have access to education and learning opportunities to improve their quality of life, increase workforce knowledge and give back. “It is about the community and stretches beyond just your family.”
Teacher pay has been a focus for Senator Allen during his entire political career in Columbia. He fought for and sponsored legislation to raise teachers’ salaries and pulled the Palmetto State from the 40th percentile to 20th among teacher salaries in the Southeast. It was accomplished through a $3,000 pay raise for teachers supported by the Governor in the current budget.
Senator Allen successfully fought for Equity in Education through the passage of the South Carolina Education, Career Opportunity, and Access for All Act. The law addresses school consolidation, developing K-4 education, increasing teacher pay, preparing students for the workforce, and improving access to the state’s technical schools.
As the senior member of a delegation from Greenville, he is credited with delivering a monumental first to Senate District 7, The Greenville School of Medicine. The University of South Carolina School Medicine Greenville is located on the Prisma Health Campus, formerly known as the Greenville Health System, the largest healthcare provider in the Upstate. It is backed by two decades of partnership in providing medical education to students from the University of South Carolina, the state’s largest public university.
Student Debt is a major concern of Senator Allen. As Millenials and emerging generations face obstacles of incurring mounting and crippling student debt Senator Allen co-sponsored one of the first free technical college bills and continually advocates for lower tuition so students can graduate with little to no debt.