(JTA) — South Carolina’s superintendent of education has recommended cutting Holocaust education funding to help make up a significant budget deficit.
The $31,000 to the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust for Holocaust education programming is part of $71 million in cuts proposed by Superintendent Mick Zais.
State lawmakers decried the suggestion and said they would work to preserve the funding, the Post and Courier reported.
The South Carolina Council on the Holocaust is a volunteer organization dedicated to Holocaust education throughout the state. No money goes to overhead or administrative costs, the newspaper reported. Programs include teacher workshops; student field trips to Holocaust exhibits; speakers and exhibits for the public; and books and classroom materials.
The state curriculum requires the Holocaust to be taught at three times during a student’s educational career. The elimination of the funding would not change the requirement, according to the newspaper.
About a dozen Holocaust survivors live in South Carolina, down from 40 in 1990, according to The State.
Members of South Carolina’s Jewish community have pledged to raise the funds privately if the budget is cut, The State reported.
Zais’ father is Jewish and a World War II veteran, according to reports.
The state is facing a more than $800 million deficit in its $5 billion budget that began on July 1.