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By FITSNews || We’ve been critical (some say hyper-critical) of all four S.C. Republican gubernatorial candidates on a variety of issues this election cycle – particularly as it relates to their glaring lack of specificity on tax cuts.

But one area where it is difficult to find fault with any of the GOP hopefuls is their support for expanded parental choice.  In fact, S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley and U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett have all joined forces on this issue, appearing in a mailing sent out statewide this week by South Carolinians for Responsible Government (SCRG), which is advancing a universal choice program that would provide all parents  – including low-income parents – additional choices for their children.

“We can empower parents by providing them with the opportunity to decide which school – be it public, private, home or parochial – best fits the educational needs of their individual child,” Barrett says. “We can empower teachers by rewarding excellence and innovation in the classroom. And we can empower employers by ensuring they have access to an educated workforce.”

We don’t say this often as it relates to Barrett, but he hit the nail on the head there.  As did Bauer when he said that expanded parental choice is a “key component (in) our ability to attract, retain and increase jobs in the future.”

That’s the basic point we’ve been making for years – that our worst-in-the-nation, one-size-fits-all (and increasingly expensive) approach is literally suffocating competitiveness in the Palmetto state, not to mention relegating entire generations of children to second-class status and a lifetime of social dependence.

Enough is enough.

Props to McMaster, Bauer, Haley and Barrett for their willingness to lead on this critical issue.  And let’s hope that whoever captures this nomination makes expanded parental choice a top priority in their general election campaign.

Check out the SCRG mailing for yourself by clicking on the link below …

SC Leaders Support School Choice (SCRG)

UPDATE: Source tell FITS that McMaster mentions expanded parental choice in his new ad, “Path to Prosperity.” We’ll bring you a link to that ad as soon as we can track one down …

UPDATE II: Here’s McMaster’s ad …