There’s a “sheriff” in North Carolina. Who works for a “colonel” in Oklahoma. Who works for a billionaire in Oregon.
These are the leaders of a new group that’s looking to enact a host of education reforms in South Carolina – although all they’ve done so far is publish a cookie cutter “catalog” aimed at alerting parents to existing school choice options.
And in the Palmetto State, those options are few and far between.
But we’re told to expect “big things” from this new organization, which is looking to spend big in an effort to achieve legislative “wins” on school choice and other education reforms.
The new group has no name, but its members reportedly include several local and national groups – including Americans for Prosperity (the Koch Brothers’ political organization), Team CFA (a national charter school group), the Palmetto Policy Forum (U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s new South Carolina-based think tank), the Palmetto Family Council and several others.
Oh, and they’re looking to make friends …
“We view anyone advocating for proven policies that empower parents with more and better options – public or private – as an ally in the fight for education freedom/ opportunity,” a member of the group told FITS recently.
So … what’s a legislative “win?”
“I’d call any bill that introduces more competition in our education system – and thus gives parents more high-quality options – a win,” our source explains.
Hard to argue with that …
South Carolina has the worst government-run system of public education in America … so naturally we welcome any effort (by any organization) aimed at loosening that monopoly’s stranglehold.
FITS was recently provided with a list of reforms being advocated by this group’s leader, former Koch Brothers’ political operative Stuart Jolly (a.k.a. “the colonel”). Among them? Expanded charter schools, merit pay for teachers, funding reform, letter grades for government-run schools and universal choice for parents.
That’s a pretty ambitious agenda … and Jolly has reportedly been “beyond aggressive” in advocating it.
Good … South Carolina needs more people (insiders and outsiders) who are willing to speak truth to power. And from what we’ve heard, it sounds like Jolly is building a new army to advocate for these reforms.