Scrolling through Sunday’s editions of The Spartanburg Herald-Journal did our hearts good.
Why? Because several weeks after a group of Spartanburg county “Republicans” chose to put the financial interests of our state’s failed status quo above the academic interests of South Carolina school children, the pressure they are facing over this deplorable vote isn’t relenting.
If anything, it’s intensifying – with Tea Party leaders making it clear that Reps. Rita Allison, Doug Brannon, Derham Cole, Mike Forrester, Steve Parker and Eddie Tallon (a.k.a. the “Spartanburg Six“) are going to find their road to reelection in 2012 considerably rockier than it otherwise might have been.
“The protest represents one of the most significant conservative-on-elected-Republican dustups of this year’s state legislative session,” the Herald-Journal notes. “Such disputes are an increasingly common occurrence across the country and are tied to the rise of the tea party and similar activist groups unafraid to take on incumbent GOP elected officials who are perceived to not support policies favored by the groups.”
Or in this case, a policy that is explicitly endorsed by the S.C. Republican Party …
“Those six are going to be fighting a two-front war,” one Upstate GOP strategist told FITS. “They’re going to have to answer to the Tea Party people who believe in the issue – but they’re also going to have to answer the party activists whose job it is to uphold the platform.”
There’s also a perception issue related to the constituencies involved in this debate … an issue that boils down to one simple question.
Or, for those of you educated in a failing South Carolina public school, “who benefits?”
Remember, Spartanburg is arguably the most conservative county in the state with more churches per square inch than any place on earth. And yet its elected representatives voted against expanding choices that would dramatically enhance parochial academic opportunities?
Not only that – they refused to even let the issue be debated?
That’s right …
Why did they do that? Because these legislators are slaves to the county’s seven superintendents – hired bureaucratic hands who wield more power than these puppet elected officials could ever hope to hold. For all of its “conservative” boasting – the truth is that this county is run by a bunch of rich educrats meet behind closed doors (or at their government-funded country club) and dictate what policies these lawmakers are to support or oppose.
All on your dime …
As a result, Spartanburg “Republicans” are toadies for the education-industrial complex – not advocates for their students.
Why does the Spartanburg educrat establishment hold so much power? For starters, there are so damn many of them. As part of the county’s jihad against integration, a total of seven school districts were established in the county. Of course these seven districts (vestiges of the same racism that keeps poor black children in the state’s I-95 relegated to second-class status) have seven bureaucracies, seven infrastructures and seven budgets – all aimed at preserving the education monopoly and keeping the taxpayer-funded gravy train flowing.
Obviously, parental choice isn’t the only common sense reform that has fallen victim to Spartanburg’s vast, left-wing conspiracy. Each year, these taxpayer-funded bureaucrats shoot down school district consolidation and other funding reforms that would get more dollars to the classroom.
Meanwhile, the gullible voters who pay the bills remain convinced that they are electing “solid conservatives” to the state legislature.
They’re not … and the damage that’s being done to our state is incalculable.
Despite record funding increases in recent years, South Carolina’s public schools continue to fall further behind the rest of the nation. Our abysmal graduation rate has continued to decline – mirroring retreating SAT scores and stagnating ACT scores. Also, a recent report found that more than one-third of the nation’s 100 worst public schools are located in South Carolina.
Nonetheless, lawmakers have appropriated a record $11,754 per child in the current year’s budget– a figure that doesn’t include bond money and other local government spending on buildings.
All that cash will certainly keep the education establishment in Spartanburg fat and happy, but if you think for one second that it represents an investment in “public education,” you’re crazy.