During her six years in the S.C. General Assembly, Nikki Haley was one of South Carolina’s most aggressive supporters of market-based education reform – repeatedly supporting universal parental choice plans geared toward breaking the stranglehold of the Palmetto State’s failed, government-run education monopoly.
As a Republican candidate for governor, Haley continued to advocate for market-based reforms … until she captured the GOP nomination, that is. That’s when she began a wholesale retreat from her previous positions.
In August 2010, Haley rolled out a disappointing education platform – one headlined by recycled “funding reforms.” Making matters worse, she stated that expanding parental choice in South Carolina was “not a priority” and would not be her focus as governor.
S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) – one of the most aggressive education reformers in the General Assembly – referred to Haley’s 2010 plan as “a dressed up version of the status quo.”
“Nikki’s proposals are good, but they are not the true reforms that are needed or what was promised,” Grooms said.
Not much of what escapes Haley’s lips is the truth, but when she told voters that parental choice was “not a priority” of her administration she wasn’t lying. Same goes for education in general. After three full years in office, Haley has proposed no substantive education reform of any kind. In fact the only major education initiative she’s approved was a $26 million expansion of the state’s failed government-run early childhood program – a plan pushed by her Democratic rival S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) and championed at the national level by none other than U.S. President Barack Obama.
Meanwhile South Carolina’s government-run schools continue to slip further beneath the waves …
And this woman calls herself a “reformer?”
Anyway, because it’s an election year (and because her rival was preparing to announce his plans), Haley is at long last returning to the topic of education this week. According to The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper, Haley will unveil an education plan this week that centers around “more technology in the classroom and support for teachers” – especially schools in “poorer districts.”
Wow … iPads for kids who can’t read and yet another government teacher training program is going to turn around the worse state-run system of education in America?
Good luck with that, governor …
Nikki Haley used to be one of the most aggressive, articulate advocates for substantive education reforms in all of South Carolina. Sadly, she’s now completely morphed into yet another “Republican” mouthpiece for the Palmetto State’s failed status quo.