South Carolina educrats are once again using taxpayer-funded time and resources to lobby the federal government for money they don’t need … a flagrant violation of the state’s ethics laws that has unfortunately become standard operating procedure in this state.
What hasn’t become standard operating procedure?
Educating our children …
Anyway, the latest education funding debate centers around $143 million that liberal pork baron Jim Clyburn says would save the jobs of 2,600 school teachers in South Carolina. According to the fiction writers over at The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper – a.k.a. La Socialista – South Carolina is being denied this money because U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint “doesn’t appear willing to help South Carolina” obtain it.
Needless to say those are their words … not ours … because we’d have politely reminded you that DeMint’s party isn’t in charge in Washington, Clyburn’s is.
Nonetheless, our state’s educrats are mounting a full-court press to have this money included in a lame duck spending bill – and once again they’re using taxpayer-provided resources to spread the propaganda of the S.C. Association of School Administrators (SCASA), the state’s uber-liberal bureaucratic union.
Here’s an example of your money going to fund this sort of propaganda:
From: Sutton, Adrienne D
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 3:47 PM
To: MCR All Email users
Subject: FW: Legislative Alert-Action Needed to Save 2,600 Teacher Jobs
For your information
Michael C. Riley Elementary
200 Burnt Church Road
Bluffton, South Carolina, 29910
Phone (843) 706-8300
Fax (843) 706-8378
From: Beth@scasa.org [mailto:Beth@scasa.org]
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 11:29 AM
To: Sutton, Adrienne D
Subject: Legislative Alert-Action Needed to Save 2,600 Teacher Jobs
It appears that the effort to obtain $143 million for South Carolina to save 2,600 teaching jobs is stalled. In order for SC to receive the money, the language in the funding resolution needs to authorize the U.S. education secretary to grant a waiver enabling a state to use the older, less strict, funding threshold of combined spending on public schools and higher education.
If the language is blocked, South Carolina loses $143 million which translates into 2,600 teaching jobs. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue; this is an issue about jobs in our state. We need each of you to call your Congressman and/or Senator ASAP and ask them to work together to save teaching jobs in South Carolina by adopting the less restrictive language.
Listed below are the names and numbers to call:
Sen. Lindsay Graham -202-224-5972
Sen. Jim Demint- 202-224-6121
Congressman Henry Brown- 202-225-3176
Congressman Joe Wilson- 202-225-2452
Congressman Gresham Barrett- 202-225-5301
Congressman Bob Inglis- 202-225-6030
Congressman John Spratt- 202-225-5501
Congressman Jim Clyburn- 202-225-3315
Thank you for your help and immediate attention to this matter!
What this taxpayer-funded email (and The State newspaper’s status quo water-carrying) neglects to mention is that South Carolina’s public schools are being funded at record levels – just like the rest of state government.
According to the latest spending figures released by the state, our public school system received a record $8.8 billion in 2009 – a $400 million increase in funding from the previous year. That works out to a record $12,268 per pupil – which doesn’t even include the hundreds of millions that local districts have stored away in reserve accounts.
All told, S.C. taxpayers spent 4.7 percent more on public education in 2009 than they did in 2008. And as was the case in 2008, non-classroom expenditures are once again eating up the vast majority of the new money. In fact, the percentage of total education funding devoted to the classroom slipped from 44.3 to 43.8 percent in 2009 – even as classrooms received $105 million in new money.
To view the data for yourself click here.
Obviously, this massive influx of cash has done nothing to improve our state’s abysmal academic performance. In fact, South Carolina’s public schools are falling further behind the rest of the nation … which itself is falling further behind the rest of the world.
South Carolina’s overall graduation rate remains among the worst in the nation – which is consistent with our state’s declining SAT and stagnating ACT scores. Also, South Carolina’s rural graduation rate currently ranks dead last in the country – while our overall graduation rate has improved by a meager 1.5 percent over the last decade, one of the worst percentage improvements in the entire country.
In an effort to hide these miserable outcomes from parents, House Speaker Bobby Harrell (aided by liberal lobbyist J. Warren Tompkins) has been working hard to dumb down the state’s costly and inefficient academic assessments. Also, South Carolina remains the only state in America that does not release graduation rates for minority students – yet another effort to conceal the generational failure of our current system.
Worse still? S.C. Gov.-elect Nikki Haley clearly isn’t committed to the reforms necessary to turn things around … choosing to turn her back on market-based accountability for all schools (and on the 109,000 children currently trapped in perpetually failing schools).
But it’s the overpaid local educrats who are truly failing our state’s children.
As we’ve said in the past, “if these people put as much energy into educating our kids as they obviously put into demanding more tax money, our public schools might actually be worth a damn.”
But they’re not … and never have been.
Dumb Spiro Spero, right?
Obviously we will fight to preserve the First Amendment right of South Carolina school teachers to petition their government (local, state or federal) for a redress of grievances – but we refuse to tolerate them doing it on taxpayer time, using taxpayer resources.