SC Gets “F” On Education Funding Transparency

Another day, another example of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s failure to bring true transparency to state government. According to a new report from the Cato Institute, South Carolina is one of nineteen states in the nation to receive a failing grade when it comes to transparency in education funding. The Cato…

Another day, another example of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s failure to bring true transparency to state government.

According to a new report from the Cato Institute, South Carolina is one of nineteen states in the nation to receive a failing grade when it comes to transparency in education funding. The Cato report – entitled “Cracking the Books” – highlights the extent to which publicly disclosed funding data for government-run schools routinely “leaves out major cost items.”

“When the state education departments provide incomplete or misleading data, they deprive taxpayers of the ability to make informed decisions about public school funding,” the report concludes. “At a time when state and local budgets are severely strained, it is crucial that spending decisions reflect sound and informed judgment.”

Indeed … especially in a state like South Carolina, which is home to one of the worst government-run education systems in the entire nation.

Anyway, the Palmetto State received a total score of 52.5 out of 100 on the Cato Report, which measured per pupil funding, capital expenses, salaries and public accessibility.

Sadly, this sort of lack of transparency is nothing new in South Carolina … and while Haley vowed to fix that, she’s been public enemy No. 1 when it comes to secretive government.

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CNSYD August 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

If Cato says it, I ignore it.

Amused Observer August 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm

So I guess private schools will be fully transparent when they start getting public money…..

Philip Branton August 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm

This is NEWS..?? Really..? Ya know, this penned article has the “Lazenby” tone to it..!! It seems like the least “Amy” could have done was actually provide quick links to each of our state’s higher learning websites for readers to take a look for themselves..!! Heck, get readers to actually GRADE each web page and then send the results to Social Media Professors across our country…!?!?

Ya know….if Wil Folk’s wife ever reads my comment and actually starts to think….lets hope she laughs instead of getting “twerked” and firing someone working on this website…!! When she looks at all this white space and thinks about how a white diaper looks very similar……LOOK OUT…!!

Matter of fact, we highly wager that if Mrs Wil Folks took time to go to each school’s website that she could probably do a pretty good job of telling readers what information these public schools should freely publish on their websites….instead of having to pull FOI requests…!!!

It looks like the public enemy to Fits readers might just be the person writing these fluff articles…??

( As a matter of transparency…..we wonder just how many page views this article has had today….where is that ticker on this webpage? I might be blind…)

Amy Brandstadter Lazenby August 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Philip, when I write an article for FITSNews, my name is always listed as the author. If my name isn’t on it, I didn’t write it.

Philip Branton August 28, 2013 at 10:31 am

Dear Citadel Cadets majoring in the “Hearts and Minds” brigade………

Yes Cadets, as you have been well trained to observe, what info can you gleen from the response of Amy here..? How should it be used on a field of battle to alert everyone to troop awareness on BOTH sides of a conflict..? How does a 4 hour response differential reverberate on the Syria media battlefield with respect to UN Inspectors or stock trades involving Kurdish Oil contracting..? Why would it matter to Fitsnews readers or Senator Lindsey Graham’s campaign “monitors”..? Most of all cadets…… should an advertiser respond to the Fitsnews staff concerning the white space on either side of my comment “stream” here..?

Cadets……..really think hard…THINK. How would you put Wil Folks into a “Checkmate” position when realizing that his “queen” cares for Mrs. Lazenby’s “pension” as much as a loyal “reader” does..?

“If”… Mrs Lazenby understands deception, why would her reply not answer any “tasks” that were laid out in my comment..? Why should she receive an “award” and “gun salute” in the World of War Craft “game”..?

Polyphemos August 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm

None of this matters. In 10 to 15 years, a high school education will be a chip in the head, with updates for college. It will be the death of public education – Deo Gratia. Nevertheless, the cynic in me says there will be a huge power struggle to control what the data on the chip will be, and royalties for the chip will be claimed by jealous teachers’ unions. Whether they achieve their greedy goals will be irrelavent, the unions and the politicians will have shown that the only thing they were after, all along, was the power and money. If you don’t believe this, you are a doo-doo head.

Frank Pytel August 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Doo-doo. LOL Funnnny

ClubCourse August 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Rod Sterling wannabe.

Polyphemos August 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Sterling? You mean the brilliant TV science fiction playwright? Sterling? The man who died in ’75 from smoking too damn many cigarettes? You mean S E R L I N G ? Or the Rector of trinity Church, who was born in Scotland? Mr. Sterling was a great preacher of the Word, but he wasn’t a science fiction writer.

Oh.. wait.. you were trying to be clever!

Ha, ha, ha,ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Thank you for the adventure into humor.

ClubCourse August 27, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Back to “The Outer Limits” with you.

SCMinority August 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

This report is about the State Dept. of Education and not local districts. It seems to be directed at Gen. Zais’s Administration…are we reading it wrong?


Navigation: South Carolina’s Department of Education website is somewhat difficult to navigate. The homepage menu bar contains a dropdown box for “Agency” with an “Executive Offices” option that includes a link to the “Chief Financial Office” page. The link to the “Finance” page is at the bottom of the right-side menu bar. The user must then click the “Fiscal Systems” link then the “In$ite” link to find the In$ite State Totals reports.

Ease of Public Analysis: South Carolina’s financial data are provided in Excel spreadsheets only, which limits the readability of the data.

Per Pupil Expenditures
South Carolina’s Department of Education provides ten years of In$ite State Totals reports. The reports contain operating per pupil expenditure data. South Carolina is missing the most recent year of per pupil expenditures and fails to provide a table or graph that would allow citizens to easily compare changes in per pupil expenditures over time.

a face in the crowd August 27, 2013 at 11:07 pm

It works both ways, too. Recall the $80 million slush fund at Clemson, which Barker and company developed based on phony tuition increases (42% in a single year). Anyone who questioned the slush fund was forced out by Barker with the support of the Board of Trustees.

Philip Branton August 28, 2013 at 10:43 am

Dear Face in the crowd…….

Your point about Tuition “accounts” would be a great topic for Amy Lazenby’s next pointed article….would it not..?

How would Amy make you out to be a hero for verifying that 80 Million was used “slush-ly”..??

How would Amy get students in the “School of Accounting” at SCSU do an audit on the Board of Trustees “actions” ..?

How would these same SCSU students use the “Clemson 80 Million Slush” audit to put James Clyburn into a “checkmate” position..? How would these same students pick a black lady to defeat Jim Clyburn that would result in certain changes taking place on their own University Board to promote “transparency” at SCSU…? How would this attract MORE black students to attend SCSU..? …and MORE white students too..?

How would the be a PR bonanza for Orangeburg..?

a face in the crowd August 28, 2013 at 11:34 am

No idea what you are babbling about. It is all documented.

dazedandconfused August 28, 2013 at 12:44 am

Interesting, states that generally perform (academically) at the top – Minnesota (37) and Massachusetts (41) are on CATO’s list of F’s in transparency in funding. If anything should be done in SC about school funding – it should be an investigation of administrative costs.

nitrat August 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Does anyone but the Kochs, who fund it, really give a rip about what this “think” tank has to say?


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