We hear excuses every day from status quo backers in Columbia as to why South Carolina’s public education system is so atrocious.
It’s poverty, they say. Or racism. Or insufficient funding. Or it’s the fault of parents. Then there’s our favorite excuse – that the ongoing debate over parental choice has “shifted our leaders’ focus away from improving our public schools.”
Apparently, this is the status quo’s way of saying that overpaid public school educrats should be spending taxpayer time and resources pressuring their employees to lobby lawmakers against parental choice. You know … instead of doing their jobs.
Such taxpayer-funded propagandizing has become widespread in South Carolina – with bigger sums of public resources being routed toward lobbying efforts.
Why is this happening? Because the educrat establishment in this state has made it clear that it isn’t interested in actually educating South Carolina’s children – it’s more interested in preserving political power (which has been the key to preserving its steady increases in funding).
According to state budget writers, South Carolina’s public schools will be funded at an average of $11,754 per child in the current fiscal year – a record-high amount. This money comes from taxes assessed by local, state and federal governments. Obviously, the $11,754 figure excludes revenues from bonds, investments, and transfers between funds and government agencies (which adds another $1,500 to the total).
In 2010, the state spent $11,140 per child – also a record-high amount – yet our graduation rate continued to decline. That mirrors retreating SAT and stagnating ACT scores, all of which hurts our state’s ability to compete for jobs and investment. Also, a recent report found that more than one-third of the nation’s 100 worst public schools are located in South Carolina.
Well, for starters less than half of the money lawmakers appropriate actually makes its way into the classroom. It gets spent on huge administrative salaries, beach vacations and of course … taxpayer-funded lobbying.
Sadly, these lobbying efforts are proving successful. Last year, the S.C. House of Representatives refused to even debate a parental choice bill – with six “Republican” lawmakers in Spartanburg, S.C. joining a RINO-Democratic coalition to defeat the legislation, which failed by a single vote.
In addition to the “Spartanburg Six” – Rita Allison, Doug Brannon, Derham Cole, Mike Forrester, Steve Parker and Eddie Tallon – ten other Republicans voted to kill the measure.
The previous year, legislation that would have prohibited school districts from routing taxpayer money to fund bureaucratic advocacy groups also failed by a single vote.
Among the so-called “Republicans” who voted to keep pouring your money into these lobbying efforts? Reps. Liston Barfield, Alan Clemmons, Mike Gambrell, Nelson Hardwick, Bill Herbkersman, Davey Hiott, Chip Huggins, Lanny Littlejohn, Steve Parker, Jay Lucas, Gene Pinson, Bill Sandifer, B.R. Skelton, Don Smith and Bill Whitmire.
South Carolina needs one vote, people … one vote to end the abusive manipulation and intimidation of a failed bureaucracy, and one vote to give parents in the Palmetto state choices that they have been denied for far too long.
One vote …
Who’s it gonna be?