Mick Zais’ Future Uncertain

S.C. Superintendent of Education Mick Zais may not seek a second term in 2014, sources close to his office tell FITS. The former Army general is said to be raising enough money to pay off debt from his 2010 campaign – at which point he is “strongly considering” an exit…

S.C. Superintendent of Education Mick Zais may not seek a second term in 2014, sources close to his office tell FITS.

The former Army general is said to be raising enough money to pay off debt from his 2010 campaign – at which point he is “strongly considering” an exit from the political stage.

Zais has $45,000 in remaining campaign debt from his last race, in which he handily defeated Democratic attorney Frank Holleman.

Zais has a mixed record using his bully pulpit on behalf of long-overdue academic reforms – but then again his office has very little ability to impact real change. The power of the purse resides with the state’s eighty-plus school districts – and the S.C. General Assembly.

“The one thing he’s done well is show the growth of administration in education funding versus the increase in what students have received,” one source says. “He’s driven that debate very well.”

That’s more than can be said for S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – whose only tangible education “accomplishment” has been to approve $26 million in funding for expanded government-run preschool programs, U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature education initiative.

Needless to say we’ll be keeping a close eye on Zais in the coming weeks to see if he bows out after covering his campaign debt.

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M326 October 31, 2013 at 9:07 am

I hope he leaves. He has accomplished nothing other than rancor and conflict. We need leadership and he just doesn’t have it. He does not inspire.

Centrist View October 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

Is this related to his former career in the military where the management style is “Chain of Command”?

venomachine October 31, 2013 at 9:51 am

By your own admission, he does inspire. he inspires rancor and conflict.

He’s no worse than Tennenbaum, who was no worse than Neilson.

I’m on my damning with faint praise kick today.

The Colonel October 31, 2013 at 10:13 am

Zais is a 100 times better than T’baum or Neilson who only used the office as a launching point (a la Jim Rex’s attempt). T’baum may have actually retarded improvement.

M326 October 31, 2013 at 4:13 pm

You are correct and I stand corrected.

Elfego October 31, 2013 at 9:31 am

How do you inspire the lazy and uneducated that the school system in SC has created since 1964? SC and America have become a nation of blaming the fault of everyone and everything other than the real culprit.

venomachine October 31, 2013 at 9:49 am


Jan October 31, 2013 at 11:20 am

Private school parents looking for a government hand out?

Elfego October 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm

What do you mean?

MaceSucks October 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Vouchers and tax credits for sending their kids to private school – on the taxpayer dime.

Centrist View October 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm

As opposed to sending your kids to public school on the taxpayer dime?

Either way, the taxpayers are subsidizing your child’s schooling, so what is the difference?

Jan October 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm

There is a huge difference. Public schools benefit everyone and are available to everyone. Private Schools are private businesses and provide service to whom they please. I should not be forced to support schools that may not even be willing to provide an education to my children or the children of my family members. If my money is being used to support a private business, I should have a say in who gets to go there, or at least the criteria for admission, and what they teach. Once I am helping pay the cost of a school, why should the fact John Doe’s father is rich or went to that school have any bearing on whether John Doe goes there? What if I prefer Jill Johnson to John Doe?
I addition, regardless of their claims, private school parents want the taxpayers to give them more money than they are currently paying into the public school system. So the parents of children in public schools and people without children will have to pay a greater share of the cost of government.

Nölff October 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm

A lot of people here on FITS hate those commie liberal pinko government-runned private schools. I feel the same you do, Jan.

That’s right ya’ll. Who wants to fight?

nitrat October 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Thomas Jefferson from
1786 August 13. (to George Wythe) “I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness…Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish & improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [tyranny, oppression, etc.] and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.”[2]

Elfego October 31, 2013 at 4:45 pm

You do not get any vouchers and tax credits for public school to my knowledge and those sending their children pay the same taxes as everyone else. In the area I am in if I had a daughter I would certainly send her to a private school simply because of safety and I should not have to pay the school part of the taxes.

Elfego November 1, 2013 at 9:43 am

Please tell me when this passed and happened. My daughter sent her daughter to a private school all he school years and never got a penny and still paid the taxes for school. You must ne a liberal.lying Democrat just like all the Democrats that have made Americans suffer over giving this country away to the lazy.the illegals and their rich friends. I never heard of this law maybe it passed when I was out of town!

Patrick Hayes November 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm

You know, some people have a hard time believing that our state’s reluctance to fund public education has its roots in ignorant resentment of desegregation. Thanks for the assist.

Elfego November 2, 2013 at 9:03 am

Desegregation is like the big melting pot. They both worked wonderfully!

Patrick Hayes November 2, 2013 at 11:48 am

Don’t you know it’s gauche to wear your white hood after Labor Day?

Elfego November 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Never had or owned a White hood but truth does not scare idiots because they are so use to being lied to!

idiotwind October 31, 2013 at 9:45 am

disappointed to read this on FITS, since that means it won’t happen. Zais has done nothing as superintendent. its a limited role but provides a stage and megaphone and could serve someone else well.

idiotwind October 31, 2013 at 9:46 am

it would also be welcome relief to have his team of hacks kicked out by a new super.

CorruptionInColumbia October 31, 2013 at 10:44 am

If he runs, I will vote for him. It is refreshing to have someone in there who doesn’t cream his pants every time he says the word education (pronounced “aiducayshion”).

AssBlow October 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

Another fucking pimp suit. This country is fucked!

Who's Your Daddy October 31, 2013 at 11:27 am

10 bucks says Teabagger Tom Davis runs instead of Zais.

nitrat October 31, 2013 at 3:17 pm

The Kochs would love it.

Jan October 31, 2013 at 11:31 am

Here is a thought, instead of giving your money to Zais, why not contribute it to Porter Gaud or Hammond School, and help all those struggling parents pay for their kid’s education. That way they want need my tax dollars.

I be smart October 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm

They “want” need your tax dollars?….. nice evidence of the quality of public education in SC.

Jan October 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm

You are correct. I did not proof read before sending. It does not change my point. “They won’t need my tax dollars. By the way, I had a private school education. Until high school I attended a local white flight academy.

Mike at the Beach November 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm

…and probably enjoyed a pretty good educational experience there, too, although I like to refer to the school to which my kids “fled” as a “cultural flight” academy…

Nölff October 31, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Oh good Gravy.
I know plenty of private school Bob-Jonesers who don’t know the difference between You’re/your, and then/than.

product of SC schools, too October 31, 2013 at 2:23 pm

or how about the Benedict College math major who said she more than “tithes” because she give 10% of her income and her husband gives 10% of his income, so together they give 20%!

Polar Pop October 31, 2013 at 11:33 am

the source…would that be that out of shape anti-government tax payer funded for at least the past 18 years, Scotty English? Mr. anti government…except when you pay for me and my family’s healthcare

nitrat October 31, 2013 at 3:15 pm

He’s an old guy and this was his triple dip.
If he thinks he’s had enough after 4 years, yet another reason for someone to find out what the retirement pension and benefit deal is for a Constitutional officer who does not meet the normal vesting requirement.
Are they able to buy into the system and be on he SC dole ’til death do us part?
Are there special rules for these statewide elected officials/appointed agency heads?

M326 October 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Very interesting. This guy has sucked at the government tit all his life and now triple dips the retirement systems. With social security and the college retirement it is probably quadruple dip. And yet, though he has worked for it all his life, he hates government. This man takes hypocrisy to new levels. I’ll be glad when he is gone. His idea of leadership is unquestioning adherence to orders given him and he expects others to unquestioningly respond to his. In the real world, Mr. Zais, things don’t work like that. Thank goodness!

Slartibartfast November 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm

He should quit – not because he was any worse than any of the other umpty-scratch numbers of Secretaries of Ed, but because NO SecEd can fix a system which is based on a false premise, and developed along soulless guidelines.

SCBlues November 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I am guessing his political career is over as you’ve caught him shaking the hand of a black person (other than Tim Scott) – isn’t that political suicide for a Republican around these parts?

Patrick Hayes November 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Here’s something you’ll never hear from Mick Zais…SC schools are doing an incredible job, and were even better before we made the biggest cuts to education in the US…cuts he has never asked to have restored…


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