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Remember earlier this year when dozens of South Carolina’s leading politicians – including S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell – were bemoaning the thousands of teachers that were going to be fired if Gov. Mark Sanford refused to accept a controversial pot of federal “stimulus” money?

Surely you remember – after all, they spent tons of your money promoting the “big lie” (you know, the one with the little percentage attached to it).

What the taxpayer-funded whiners didn’t tell you, of course, was that in April of this year, S.C. Superintendent of Education Jim Rex spent a whopping $400,000 on educational “consultants.”

In fact, his annual consulting tab is now closing in on $2 million.

From The Voice:

Despite a steady stream of complaints from administrators about how budget cuts are forcing the Department of Education to do its work on a “bare bones” budget, the bureaucracy has managed to find enough money to continue paying out political consultants and contractors. Teachers have been cut, but spending has been maintained for former employees of political campaigns.

  • January-$296,526
  • February-$358,398
  • March-$366,996
  • April-$397,876
  • May-$333,791
  • YEAR-TO-DATE: $1.7 million to consultants and contractors

Jim Rex -and other public education “leaders“- need to face the financial challenges before South Carolina public schools through prioritization and accountability. Instead of seeking to maintain a budget fraught with fat and waste, true leaders would step forward to cut costs that are unproductive, and not directly affecting classroom instruction.

As noted previously on FITS, big chunks of that money is going to pay for political consultants, too, including excessively shrill and whiny ones like Rex’s top PR advisor, Zeke Stokes.

Stokes, not surprisingly, is reportedly in the thick of Rex’s upcoming gubernatorial bid.

But hey … it’s all “for the children,” right?