(TNS) -- South Carolina students are not receiving a 21st century education, House Speaker Jay Lucas said at the 2016 Legislative Workshop for the Media.

Senate and House representatives met with members of the media on Thursday highlighting the top priorities that will likely generate much discussion in the General Assembly this session. Those topics included infrastructure, ethics, public information requests and education.

Lucas, a Darlington Republican, was one of several legislators who tackled the “harsh reality” that Palmetto State education, particularly in rural areas, has been suffering for years and may impact the state’s ability to produce an educated workforce in the future.

Issues in the educational system range from lack of technological resources to an inability to recruit and retain quality teachers in rural areas, said S.C. Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg.

Fellow Orangeburg Democrat, S.C. Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, took it a step further and generated a lengthy discussion on the Abbeville lawsuit decision – one made by the South Carolina Supreme Court more than a year ago that stated high minority, impoverished rural school districts had not been receiving a “minimally adequate education.”

The high court initially gave lawmakers a February deadline to present a solution after the ruling of the 22-year-old case. Though other panel members said they are confident that some changes will be made, Cobb-Hunter said the can has been kicked down the road for too long.

“We can study and study and study until we can’t study anymore,” she said. “At what point do we stop studying problems and issues, and actually do something?”

©2016 the Aiken Standard (Aiken, S.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.