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The town that helped end school segregation offered Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a backdrop Thursday to offer a variation on a familiar theme: the two Americas.

“We still have two school systems in America,” he told a group gathered in the library at Scotts Branch High School. “We have one for the affluent and one for everybody else.”

Edwards’ remarks came in the town that spawned the Supreme Court ruling that, in 1954, ordered the desegregation of schools. It was part of a daylong tour of S.C. counties known as the “Corridor of Shame” for their impoverished schools and economies.

Edwards pushed a litany of remedies for failing rural schools. Among other things, he would offer universal preschool, a bonus of up to $15,000 to teachers in needy schools, and a new “teaching university” he compared to West Point. It would offer a free education to those willing to commit to teaching.

[via The Charlotte Observer]

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Lowcountry, Politics