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LAWMAKER: “NARROW MINDED RESENTMENT” DRIVES FUNDING DECISION

South Carolina’s Democratic minority leader is blasting the state’s “Republican” majority for cutting funding to two superfluous institutions of higher learning.

How much money are we talking? Between the two schools, a grand total of $69,162 – which doesn’t even qualify as a molecule of a drop in the bucket of South Carolina’s $23 billion (and growing) state budget.

Yet this molecule has become a veritable flood of media coverage … including here on FITS.

Why is this funding being cut? Because the two schools – the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina (Upstate) – have issued pro-homosexual books as required reading for incoming freshman (including one book that was exclusively “outed” by this website).

Well, wait … did we actually out both of them?

Hmmmmmm. We break so many scoops … it’s hard to keep track.

Anyway, critics of the books are exercising their prerogative to commensurately reduce funding for these institutions – which supporters are railing against as censorship.

“When legislators begin allocating resources to public universities based on whether they agree with the subject matter taught in certain courses, we have undermined not only the very definition of higher education, but also our state’s commitment to open scholarship,” this website’s associate opinion editor Amy Lazenby wrote earlier this week. “If South Carolina’s universities are to retain their credibility as institutions of true higher learning, we must not go down that road.”

Meanwhile S.C. minority leader Todd Rutherford (D-Columbia) said the funding cuts were indicative of an “anti-LGBT” budget.

“The Republicans in the General Assembly have resorted to censorship and budget-gutting in order to keep colleges from admitting that gays and lesbians actually exist,” Rutherford said. “I hate to break it to my Republican friends, but gays and lesbians have always existed and will always exist no matter how many books they ban. It’s time for Republicans to get over their narrow minded resentment towards the LGBT community and finally enter into the 21st century. Their kids and grandkids will thank them later.”

Where are we on this?

Our view is surprisingly simple: Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize any form of higher ed propaganda (gay or straight). Why not? Because they shouldn’t fund higher education – period.

Unfortunately, South Carolina has always spent a disproportionate amount of its budget on higher ed – which has increasingly turned into nothing but a command economic racket. Oh and if you’re paying tuition at an in-state school, you’re getting doubly screwed.

We agree with Lazenby: The Palmetto State should be a bastion of open scholarship. But it should also be a bastion of open markets – in which colleges and universities compete for students (and foundation money) based on whatever academic offerings they deem appropriate.

Government should have no role whatsoever in that equation …