Despite its documented failure at the state and national level, both S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and State Sen. Vincent Sheheen joined “Republicans in Name Only” in the S.C. Senate this year in approving a $26 million appropriation for expanded early childhood education – U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature education initiative.
(Haley had repeatedly opposed the K-4 program, however we predicted her forthcoming flip flop in this post back in January).
“I do know these are areas that are challenged and I do know these are areas where we need to step up and do more,” Haley said of the program, which fiscal conservatives urged her to veto. “I’m willing to test it and see how it goes.”
Already unsatisfied with this $26 million expenditure, Sheheen announced this week that he will push for additional government spending on this unsuccessful program.
“While the 4-year-old kindergarten expansion this year is a tremendous step, there is still much more that needs to be done,” Sheheen said. “We must continue to work for full-day, voluntary, universal, 4-year-old kindergarten so that every child — no matter where they live — has the chance to learn and succeed.”
Yeah … except government-funded four-year-old kindergarten doesn’t help children learn or succeed. It simply deprives taxpayers of money.
“The percentages of children at-risk for not being ready to succeed in school have not decreased since 2000,” a recent report from the S.C. Legislative Audit Council (SCLAC) revealed, referring to the impact of the state’s initial foray into government-run early childhood education.
The price tag for Sheheen’s latest proposed expansion of this failed program? He didn’t say …
This is a perfect example of the failure of appeasement when it comes to dealing with fiscal liberals of both parties in the S.C. General Assembly. Haley probably thought approving this program would keep Sheheen at bay for awhile, and it did – for six weeks.
Will Haley finally draw a line in the sand on this issue during the upcoming campaign and stop throwing good money after bad?
And more importantly, why is there not a candidate in the race for governor advocating for the elimination of these failed programs?