Two Years In, Nikki Haley Finally “Addresses” SC Academic Woes

ABSENT SPECIFIC REFORMS, GOVERNOR WANTS TO “START A CONVERSATION” Two years into her administration S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has finally decided to address the state of South Carolina’s chronic academic underachievement – which continues to serve as a drag on job growth and income levels in the notoriously poor Palmetto…

haley short list


Two years into her administration S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has finally decided to address the state of South Carolina’s chronic academic underachievement – which continues to serve as a drag on job growth and income levels in the notoriously poor Palmetto State.

Unfortunately the governor didn’t offer up specific solutions to our state’s worsening academic performance, she merely said she wanted to “start a conversation” on the issue.

“As we all know, sometimes conservations lead to more,” Haley said.

Um … okay …

Haley’s remarks – tucked into the tail end of her speech – were profoundly disappointing. First, she failed to embrace universal parental choice as part of her legislative agenda – choosing to (once again) pay lip service to this long-overdue reform.

“I know there are some strong school choice bills that are making their way through the General Assembly, and as I’ve always said I support school choice,” Haley said. “It will be good for the parents and children of our state to be able to make their own family decisions, and it should have happened a long time ago But I have never been one who believes that choice is the only way to improve education. It is one way, a truly important way, but we have to do other things as well.”

Translation? Haley is (once again) refusing to expend any of her own political capital advancing the one reform capable of turning around our state’s abysmal academic record.

What is the governor focused on instead? Undefined funding reforms aimed at improving rural government-run schools. Specifically, Haley said state leaders “have to figure out a better way to bring up the schools in the poorer parts of our state, and history shows that we cannot count on their own depressed local tax bases and restrictive federal dollars to do it.”

“We need to spend our dollars smarter,” she said. “We need to be more accountable. And we need to better serve all the children in South Carolina.”

Okay …

We do need to spend tax dollars smarter. We do need more accountability. And we do need to better serve all the children of South Carolina. But those comments are nothing but meaningless sound bites unless they are accompanied by specific policies.

And Haley offered up absolutely nothing on that front …

During her first two years in office, Haley has focused exclusively on doling out taxpayer-funded incentives to select corporations – effectively bribing them to bring jobs here at the expense of existing businesses. Legislatively, she’s been focused exclusively on pushing a watered down government restructuring proposals. In fact she hasn’t addressed education in a substantive manner since August of 2010 – when she rolled out a weak campaign platform that also lacked a firm commitment to parental choice.

What Haley fails to recognize is South Carolina’s long-term economic vitality is dependent on our state’s future generations becoming a lot smarter than they are today. We can’t continue to bribe our way to economic prosperity without those crony capitalist handouts cannibalizing our tax base. Nor can we expect to bring high-paying jobs to this state – and grow high-paying jobs from within our state – when the only thing our workers are good at is stacking boxes.

Haley should have rolled out an aggressive academic reform agenda during her campaign – not a hodgepodge of half measures. And the fact she’s just getting around to “starting a conversation” on the issue two years into her term is flat out inexcusable.

Tens of thousands of children are trapped in failing government-run schools in South Carolina every year. They don’t need a “conversation,” they need a way out. Meanwhile tens of thousands of taxpaying parents deserve the right to use their own money to find a better academic setting for their children.

Most importantly? Our failed government system desperately needs to be subjected to the only “accountability” that’s worth a damn – the accountability of the marketplace.


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Ken E. January 17, 2013 at 10:24 am

Is this your new meme? “Government-run schools” Christ, get a job.

Robert January 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

People do have a choice. They can either afford it or not.

I’m just hoping Haley supports ending this country district crap we’ve had for decades and allocate money per student on state level. End the disaster of districts setting spending and taxes.

Stephan January 17, 2013 at 10:37 am

That makes no sense. The current system rewards families who are successful, and punishes families who are not. If you’re successful you live in Lexington districts with good tax base and ample funding. If you live in Swansea – well you get the picture. (Even better, if you live in Hampton, or Estill.

Robert January 17, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I live in Lexington and see the waste. I sell product in many school districts and see the poverty. Not everyone can move up in financial status.

Keeping poor schools poor is just wrong. It isn’t the child’s fault that the community they live in doesn’t have the tax base other communities have.

We could eliminate the vast differences in property taxes by eliminating school districts.

Every child in SC deserves the same chance.

Guess I'm Not A Sex Addict? January 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

I sure bet that’s one Funky Monkey! Sorry, off topic…

Nikki Haley Cheerleader January 17, 2013 at 11:07 am

Get excited! We’re pleased to announce today we’re in the top fifteen states for teen pregnancy!!

Nikki January 17, 2013 at 11:19 am

……is so full of shit that her eyes have turned brown.

Ricky Loftin January 17, 2013 at 11:42 am

Nikki Haley, Power Flake, isn’t open to having the best schools, roads, ports, medical without Washington, D.C. cronies being involved!
Commercial Hemp Production (Not Marijuana) could let South Carolina lead in biodegradable plastic bottles, do away with dirty fiberglass, build cars with bodies 1000 lb’s lighter, hemp bio fuel, wallboard with R15 insulation in board, grow the same amount of pulp per acre (20% better) in 120 days as takes pine trees six to 10 years.
Commercial Hemp would be grown and manufactured in South Carolina by our Citizens while producing 2 Trillion Dollars and 50,000 Environmental Green Industrial Revolution Jobs! Rand Paul in Kentucky is going for Commercial Hemp. Oregon is only STATE with Commercial Hemp Production that is legal……

Charlemagne, King of France January 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I did a report on this in college, and you have hit the nail on the head

Charlemagne, King of France January 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm

you forgot to mention that when grown around an active field it acts as a natural pesticide, if you never harvest it and simply grow it and “plow under” it it will revitalize the soil better than any fertilizer, and it will allow for an extra crop to be grown and harvested than other live plants that this is done with because of the super quick vegitative rate. growing hemp only as a rotation crop for revitalizing the soil, not haresting for manufacturing, textile, or fuel, would allow the state to add probably 25% to its agriculture income because it could harvest 1-3 additional times every year without damaging the soil

Hot For Teacher January 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Simply require 65% of education spending to directly benefit students. This means fewer districts, consolidation of administrative functions, putting more qualified teachers in the classrooms, and reducing class size.

We know what to do. All the research and data is there staring us in the face.

But this would mean turning public schools back into actual schools, instead of a giant jobs program and day care facility.

Oh yeah, and more sex.

scsince60 January 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Schools should be designated as either for college bound students or training students for a trade. The general choice would be made in ninth grade, but students would, of course, be free to switch from one to the other if their circumstances or motivation or whatever, changes. The current system is a colossal waste of money and time for students who have no hope in traditional academic classes, but might thrive in programs with a realistic goal (getting a job after graduation). Why continue to pretend to be baffled by low test scores when the truth is we could spend a hundred thousand a student and some of them will never succeed in college prep classes, and for that matter, don’t even want to be there? Same goes for teachers. Assign them to the appropriate job at the right school, based on aptitude tests. What’s wrong with teaching a kid the basics of air-conditioning? Sounds a lot more useful in the long run than Social Studies. Or, we can keep beating the same heads against the wall and hoping it will get better if we just buy a more expensive wall.

Charlemagne, King of France January 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm

thats what japan does, and thats what the schools try to do with TP, CP, and AAP classes…but we cant hurt their wittle feewings

scsince60 January 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm

But of course the joke is that the object is to efficiently educate. Wrong. The purpose of all this comedy is to safeguard and expand the pig trough from which these “educators” feed. The preceding sentence, by the way, is one that maybe four percent of active South Carolina Public School teachers could have composed.

Burka Jerk January 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

So disappointed in the outfit – she looked like your grandmother’s couch (without the plastic cover.) She needs the makeup wizards from the RNC. What ever happened to our sexy saucy naughty nekid nikkiness?

Johnny Reb @ Aiken January 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm

After the Governor’s speech, Miss McConnell was interviewed and complained the Governor didn’t recognize all her efforts helping elderly people.

“The elderly have trouble putting out their trash, getting to the doctor, finding postage stamps, stuff like that. My office helps with that. I got no recognition. Unfair. Disrespectful.”

So funny: “General” McConnell now in charge of the broom closet.

Samantha January 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Okay I want to know about the 14,000 jods DSS Director Lillian Koller supposely find for South Carolina Welfare client. I had my job when I applied for AFDC and I know many of my friends had their jobs before applying for afdc and we all received phone calles asking us to close your AFDC cases to save your countable month from the case manager and even if you were getting unemploymnent my girlfriend Lakeisha said they ask her to do the same. I just wonder if their were jobs paying more than $7.25 why I was asked to take a higher paying job then $7.25 per hour.

Tommy Transparency January 19, 2013 at 6:31 am

The first step would be to clean up the corruption at USC Upstate


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