LEXINGTON (WACH/AP) -- Another candidate has entered an already crowded field to be SC's top educator.
Amy Cofield a Lexington attorney and former teacher announced she is running for Superintendent of Education on Tuesday.
Cofield says she's an an advocate for conservative policies that puts parents in charge of their children's education and she's excited to enter this race.
Cofield attended the University of South Carolina and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education.
She taught fifth grade at Starr Elementary School in Anderson County and earned a masters in education while teaching.
During the last year Cofield has lead over 1,000 concerned citizens and parents in opposition to Common Core and a new grading standard proposed for schools in Lexington County.
Cofield opposes the progressive grading system that sought to replace traditional measures of success for students, like homework, with a small battery of tests that a student could "take-over" if they performed poorly.
Amy's parent and citizen-led efforts generated changes in district policies.
"As a mom, I believe strongly our schools must be institutions of acceptance and challenge, so our children may reach their full God-given potential. As a former public school teacher, I know our teachers must have the freedom to do what they were trained to do - educate our youth. Our classrooms must be free from Washington politicians and bureaucrats, with final curriculum and policy determined at the local level. And, our parents must be able to choose which environment is best suited for their children's education," said Cofield.
GOP Superintendent Mick Zais' announcement last month that he won't seek a second term left the field wide open.
Democratic state Rep. Michael Anthony of Union leads the money race, with $43,500 cash available as of Dec. 31. Anthony's Democratic opponent is Montrio Belton of Fort Mill, Zais' former director of school transformation.
Those who have announced on the Republican side are GOP activist Sheri Few of Lugoff and Anderson County school board member Gary Burgess.
One Republican exited the race last week, but several more say they're either planning to run or are considering it.
Cofield is a close friend and supporter of Governor Nikki Haley.
Lexington County State Senator Katrina Shealy has endorsed Cofield.