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sc education funding up again

Never before has it cost so much to produce so little … at a time when the state of South Carolina (and the taxpayers who support it) can ill afford to waste a penny.

In the worst economic year since the Great Depression, South Carolina’s public schools received a record $8.4 billion in government funding – a 4.5% increase from the previous year.

That boosts per pupil funding in the Palmetto State over $12,000 for the first time in state history, although less than half of that money is actually making it into the classroom.

The remarkable new data – released by the State Office of Research and Statistics (a division of the S.C. Budget & Control Board) – should end once and for all the myth that schools have been suffering from “budget cuts,” assuming of course that the state’s mainstream media decides to report on the data.

Which is always an uncertain proposition in this state …

Of course, it’s not just the staggering amount of public funding that’s being poured into a system that continues to fall further behind the rest of the nation, it’s where the money is going … or rather not going.

For example, take a look at this chart from the ORS …

ORS public school spending

As you can see from the numbers above, a whopping $2.76 billion was spent in 2008 on bureaucratic costs – up $220 million (or 8.5%) from the previous year, or nearly two-thirds of the state’s total funding increase.

All told, only 44 cents of every taxpayer dollar spent on “education” in South Carolina is actually going toward classroom instruction.


First of all, public schools have not seen their budget cuts – but are continuing to do a piss poor job of prioritizing academic funding.

Oh, and at a time when educrats were complaining of budget cuts and threatening to fire or furlough teachers, they were raking in the lion’s share of surplus funding.

Also, keep in mind that these figures don’t include an estimated $800 million in carry-forward reserve accounts.

So, what have South Carolina taxpayers and parents received in exchange for this massive investment?  That’s easy – declining SAT scores, ACT scores as well as the nation’s lowest graduation rate and a growing achievement gap.  Simply put,  at every point along the academic spectrum, South Carolina children are falling further behind the rest of the nation.

On top of that, educrats are currently lobbying to dumb down the state’s new standardized exam, the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards test …

Seriously, folks … if this state’s education bureaucracy isn’t the greatest scam on earth, we don’t know what is …


S.C. Office of Research and Statistics 2008 Local Government Finance Report