SC

School Choice: Expanded Version Advances

The South Carolina House of Representatives expanded the modest school choice proposals approved last month by the State Senate, adding some teeth to the Palmetto State’s first real market-based education reforms. By a vote of 68-48, the House amended the Senate version of the FY 2013-14 state budget – which…

The South Carolina House of Representatives expanded the modest school choice proposals approved last month by the State Senate, adding some teeth to the Palmetto State’s first real market-based education reforms.

By a vote of 68-48, the House amended the Senate version of the FY 2013-14 state budget – which contained provisos offering school supply tax credits to private school teachers and parents of children with special needs. Most significantly, House members expanded the size of the special needs program and extended it to include low-income students – who are currently dealt the very worst hand by the state’s failed one-size-fits-all government run system.

Getting some rare props for advancing these changes? Powerful S.C. ways and means chairman Brian White (RINO-Anderson) – a politician this website regularly pillories. According to our sources, White played an aggressive leadership role behind the scenes in making sure a strengthened choice proposal made its way back to the State Senate.

Also deserving credit? S.C. Rep. Eric Bedingfield (R-Greenville), a longtime choice supporter who led negotiations on the specific language of the provisos while serving as the “floor general” on the vote.

Finally, tremendous credit goes to S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Columbia), a freshman lawmaker who delivered a damning blow against Democratic opponents of the expanded choice proposal.

JAMES SMITH
JAMES SMITH: PWNED

As S.C. Rep. James Smith (D-Columbia) rambled on about $500 million in so-called “underfunding” of government schools (which happen to be sitting on surpluses of more than $900 million), Finlay expertly exposed the rank hypocrisy and condescension of Smith and his fellow liberal elites.

Both Finlay’s children and Smith’s children attend Heathwood Hall, a pricey Episcopal school in Columbia, S.C. where the tuition and fees far exceed the statewide median independent school cost of $5,000 per year.

Finlay asked Smith why he could could afford to send his kids to such a great school but was unwilling to help others (scholarship fund donors) in their efforts to assist low-income and disabled children who were eager to enjoy the same access.

Smith scoffed at the question, claiming an expensive school like Heathwood would remain out of reach to such scholarship winners – and that the entire choice progrom ought to be scrapped as a result. But Finlay called his bluff, reminding him that Heathwood – like many other private schools across the state – already offers merit and needs based scholarships (often as high as 75 percent of tuition) and that a school choice program would dramatically expand on this success just as it has in dozens of other states.

Of course such sound logic and emprical evidence aren’t the issue with Smith and his peers: They are government school sycophants. And while they’d never send their own sons and daughters to South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run schools, they know that funneling more money to these failure factories is the cost of obtaining and holding onto their offices.

Fortunately, this cycle of status quo perpetuation suffered a rare defeat this week … now let’s hope the State Senate accepts these amendments as the budget finally makes its way to the desk of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

As we noted last month, these reforms don’t come close to the scaled down parental choice bill passed by the S.C. House of Representatives last year … to say nothing of the broad universal parental choice legislation we support. But they do represent important steps in the right direction – and lawmakers who have historically opposed education reform deserve a measure of credit for taking those steps.

***

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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29 comments

9" June 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm

oh,god.not this bullshit,again

Reply
GrandTango June 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Hope so: If we get the children out of the government schools, you perverts can’t molest them…tough break…Haha…

Reply
9" June 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

But your kids go to public schools,and you’re proud of them,and their test scores.What do they think about you? Alzheimer’s is a terrible way to go…

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GrandTango June 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I’m very involved in my children’s education. It’s the parents who are poor that you PERVS prey on (see Jerry Sandusky)…
I’m all for the poor parents getting their kids away from you…I don’t just suport legislation that feather’s my nest..I actually CARE about other people’s children…not just government handouts to keep Obama and the pervs happy, like you…

My kids would thrive if they had classes in a junkyard. They are smart through genetics and I care for them…

Reply
9" June 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Alzheimer’s is a terrible way to go…

Jan June 6, 2013 at 10:05 am

Big T, you are truly one sick nut. To begin with as far as Pervs go, the vast majority of child abuse occurs in the home, so home schooled children are far more at risk of child abuse than other children. And if we are talking about private schools, what about all those alter boys in Catholic schools. The truth is there is no place safer for a child than in a public school. While nothing is zero, the odds of a child being physically or sexually abused by a public school teacher are extremely low.

Second it amazes me that you are too stupid to notice that Will just called your children and the children of every parent who sent their kids to public school failures. This is how Howie and the School Choice crowd roll. They are willing to do anything to get their way, including attacking innocent children. It is truly disgusting behavior.

Finally, Jerry Sandusky is a registered Republican as was Joe Paterno. If you don’t believe me look it up, the internet knows everything.

GrandTango June 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

Liberals shill for Gays, and Jerry Sandusky is a gay child molestor…He is Your Boy…Just like NAMBLA is based in the most Liberal County in America…They love Bader-Ginsburg and Obama…
Why do yall run from what you are when it manifests???….

Obama, you and Vermin Gosnell all think alike aboyut the killing of children…why deny it now????…Obama campaigned on it…

Just like: you DESTROYED public education, and now you don’t want to give the impoverished the chance to escape the mess you made..and you want to FORCE everybody else to wallow in your FAILURE…
You are NOT American…you are Stalinists…

David Fucking Rice June 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

“I’m very involved in my children’s education.”

Are you teaching them how to troll, because that’s the only goddamn thing you do all day…and you’re very exceptional at it.

9" June 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm

oh,god.not this bullshit,again

Reply
GrandTango June 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Hope this is accurate news. Liberals have completely broken the public education system…Let’s at least looses the strangle-hold some…

We have to make sure they don’t get the health-care system, and do the same as they’ve done to ruin education…

The GOP is addressing (rejecting) ObamaCare also…
Thank you GOP…

Reply
Stinkbait June 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm

It wasn’t liberals who broke the public education system. It was your parents who bugged out in the ‘white flight’ of the 60s & left public education to the ineptitude & indifference of the unwashed masses. Now you elitist SOBs think you’re entitled to a tax break because it’s costing you $20K a year to send Livingston IV to Heathwood. …… and the pony you got for Christmas.

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GrandTango June 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm

You are a Disgusting RACIST and you failed because you’re incompetent, stupid and are governed by Liberal Myths and Lies….
But of course, like Obama, you blame EVERYBODY but the guilty idiots, like yourself…

Reply
vicupstate June 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Finlay just wants tax money to pay his private tuition, and to get Howie to pay pay for his next campaign.

Reply
vicupstate June 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Finlay just wants tax money to pay his private tuition, and to get Howie to pay pay for his next campaign.

Reply
lowcorider June 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

So you’re offering tax credits to the 47% of folks you claim pay no tax. Explain please!!!

Reply
Lowcorider June 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

So you’re offering tax credits to the 47% of folks you claim pay no tax. Explain please!!!

Reply
Roseanne June 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm

So Kirkman wants tax credits for sending his kids to private school on top of getting lots of our tax dollars in subsidies for his “farm” in lower Richland. Next he’ll want us peasants to clean his house and mow the grass on the plantation.

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Roseanne June 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm

So Kirkman wants tax credits for sending his kids to private school on top of getting lots of our tax dollars in subsidies for his “farm” in lower Richland. Next he’ll want us peasants to clean his house and mow the grass on the plantation.

Reply
BIN News Editorial Staff June 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Just more voucher scam rhetoric from Howie the Voucher Clown’s leading voucher pimp, sic(k) willie. What a cheap pimp!

sic(k) one, you keep changing the lipstick and eyeshadow on the voucher pig, but it’s still a voucher pig. No matter how you dress a pig, it’s still a pig.

No matter how you dress the voucher scam, it’s still a scam.

Vouchers are a scam regardless of the voucher rhetoric you keep puking up.

And, vouchers are dead in SC. A former Midlands’ elected official has spoken.

Reply
BIN News Editorial Staff June 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Just more voucher scam rhetoric from Howie the Voucher Clown’s leading voucher pimp, sic(k) willie. What a cheap pimp!

sic(k) one, you keep changing the lipstick and eyeshadow on the voucher pig, but it’s still a voucher pig. No matter how you dress a pig, it’s still a pig.

No matter how you dress the voucher scam, it’s still a scam.

Vouchers are a scam regardless of the voucher rhetoric you keep puking up.

And, vouchers are dead in SC. A former Midlands’ elected official has spoken.

Reply
Fastmouth June 6, 2013 at 6:53 am

As I commented in yesterday’s post by FITS – I in no way want my tax dollars to give tax breaks, subsidies, or anything of the sort to support private schools. If Reps. Finlay, Smith and any of the rest of them want to send their kids to Heathwood, Hammond, Cardinal Newman or wherever, that’s their choice. But don’t make my tax dollars help support it. Our legislators need to make it a priority to help under-performing schools – whether it be getting rid or non-performing teachers, working on school infrastructure, or whatever. Just my opinion.

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Big Daddy June 6, 2013 at 6:53 am

As I commented in yesterday’s post by FITS – I in no way want my tax dollars to give tax breaks, subsidies, or anything of the sort to support private schools. If Reps. Finlay, Smith and any of the rest of them want to send their kids to Heathwood, Hammond, Cardinal Newman or wherever, that’s their choice. But don’t make my tax dollars help support it. Our legislators need to make it a priority to help under-performing schools – whether it be getting rid or non-performing teachers, working on school infrastructure, or whatever. Just my opinion.

Reply
Baker Maultsby June 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm

I wouldn’t say that Rep. Findlay’s comments are convincing at all. In what way in Heathwood Hall relevant? Does Heathwood Hall accept struggling students? Will mentions merit-based scholarships that, along with a tax credit scholarship or voucher, might make it easier for the school to skim top students from public schools.

But does Heathwood Hall take kids who are reading well below grade level? Who have been in trouble and suspended numerous times? Whose parents are out of touch with the entire situation?

Again, the lawmaker’s discussion of Heathwood Hall seems to me to have nothing much to do with the entire thing.

Reply
Baker Maultsby June 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm

I wouldn’t say that Rep. Findlay’s comments are convincing at all. In what way in Heathwood Hall relevant? Does Heathwood Hall accept struggling students? Will mentions merit-based scholarships that, along with a tax credit scholarship or voucher, might make it easier for the school to skim top students from public schools.

But does Heathwood Hall take kids who are reading well below grade level? Who have been in trouble and suspended numerous times? Whose parents are out of touch with the entire situation?

Again, the lawmaker’s discussion of Heathwood Hall seems to me to have nothing much to do with the entire thing.

Reply

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