It took three years (and a tough reelection campaign) for Nikki Haley to finally come up with a proposal on education. Unfortunately for South Carolinians, the neglect didn’t spare them from the contempt, because Nikki Haley’s long record of slashing at public education has hurt students, teachers, and our state economy for years.
So as Governor Haley finally talks about public education this afternoon, remember that her actions reveal more about her position on public education than any Hail Mary initiative launched in the midst of her reelection campaign:
· Nikki Haley’s veto pen has hit education hardest. “Of the nearly 200 budget vetoes Gov. Nikki Haley has issued during her three years as governor, no government service has been struck more than public education. A review of the governor’s budget vetoes shows the first-term Republican has vetoed $110 million worth of public education programs and services since 2011, vetoes that account for more than a quarter of the $419 million she has vetoed in state spending since 2011.” [The State, 6/27/13]
· SC 6th worst in the country on slashing school spending & harming public education. “Even in 2008, before the dramatic budget cuts the state has enacted in the past few years, South Carolina spent the fourth-lowest amount on education. As fiscal year 2014, South Carolina primary and secondary students will each be educated with about $500 less than before the recession. The lack of education funding is, in part, due to the political ideals of Governor Nikki Haley. In 2011, she vetoed the state’s budget and included $56 million in cuts to education. In addition, Haley refused to accept money from the Education Jobs Fund — a federal program intended to mitigate budget constraints in schools across the country. South Carolina was the only state that did not seek money from this program.” [24/7 Wall Street, 9/24/13]
· Haley opposed expanding 4-year-old kindergarten. “Currently, eight school districts are receiving state dollars to offer 4K as part of a pilot program. The 2013-2014 budget would expand that to other school districts with a high percentage of at-risk children….Haley says she does not support the idea, but she agrees with the need to get children in high poverty areas ready for school.” [SC Radio Network, 6/15/13]
The only thing worse than Nikki Haley’s failure to notice the crisis in South Carolina public education is the devastating harm that her neglectful and contemptuous policies have done to South Carolina’s students, schools, and economy.
South Carolina’s ready for new leadership and real accountability.
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