SC

SC School Bus Fuel Savings?

WHERE ARE THEY?  AND WHERE SHOULD THEY GO? By FITSNEWS  ||  When gas prices are on the rise, South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run school system whines incessantly about the need for millions of dollars in new money to keep fueling its school bus fleet.   These shrill cries are mindlessly regurgitated by the…

WHERE ARE THEY?  AND WHERE SHOULD THEY GO?

By FITSNEWS  ||  When gas prices are on the rise, South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run school system whines incessantly about the need for millions of dollars in new money to keep fueling its school bus fleet.   These shrill cries are mindlessly regurgitated by the Palmetto State’s liberal mainstream media, who lead us to believe that without immediate infusions of cash – the school bus fleet (and all government-owned vehicles) will grind to a halt.

Bear in mind South Carolina is the only state in America which owns and operates its own school bus fleet – a job it does every bit as ineffectively and inefficiently as the job it does “educating” our children.

Anyway, now that gas prices are in a free fall in South Carolina, we’re curious: Where are the mainstream media news reports about fuel cost savings?

And more to the point: Why isn’t that money going into a taxpayer rebate fund?

Oh … right.  Despite the best efforts of pro-free market lawmakers like S.C. Sen. Tom Davis, our state doesn’t have a taxpayer rebate fund.  It just takes the money that ought to be going back to you and spends it on crap like this.

In the summer of 2008, former S.C. governor Mark Sanford signed into law special legislation appropriating an additional $19 million toward school bus fuel costs.  Of course South Carolina’s educrat establishment immediately blasted this amount as being insufficient to cover the costs associated with running the state’s 5,600-strong school bus fleet (which consumes roughly 13 million gallons of fuel a year).

They said it would only cover their “added costs” for six months.

In fact, the educrat establishment has consistently used the threat of rising fuel costs as a reason to opposing privatizing the state’s school bus fleet – propaganda swallowed hook, line and sinker by the state’s liberal legacy media.  More broadly, they’ve also used the “transportation” issue as a reason to oppose parental choice in South Carolina.

Well let’s look at their “transportation” for a moment, shall we?

A whopping 3,100 school buses in South Carolina (sixty percent of the fleet) are fifteen years or older.  More than 1,100 of those buses are more than twenty years old and roughly a hundred of them are more than 25 years old.  That means they are horribly inefficient from a fuel standpoint, environmentally unfriendly and tremendously costly to maintain – which is why the average maintenance cost on a South Carolina school bus is roughly $12,000, according to the S.C. Department of Education (SDE).

Not surprisingly old buses are less safe, too.  According to the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), the number of collisions involving South Carolina school buses climbed from 292 three years ago to 402 last year.  Meanwhile the number of injuries associated with those collisions climbed from 144 to 322 over the same time period.

Those are huge increases, people.

And add to all that the chronic shortage of qualified drivers (ironic given how desperate for work our state is supposed to be) and the chronic tardiness of the fleet in getting children to school on time …

Not surprisingly, the S.C. General Assembly’s solution to all of these problems has been to throw more money at the problem.  But it’s never enough.

“The Legislature is simply shirking its responsibility to maintain a bus fleet that is safe and efficient,” an editorial in The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier recently noted.

Shirking responsibility … sound familiar?

The Post and Courier‘s solution?  Blow nearly $300 million on new buses or “find a fair way to privatize (the system).”

Here’s a better idea: Don’t stop at privatizing the buses.  Give each child a voucher for what the state spends on his or her education (transportation included) and watch as decades of failed central planning gives way to the kind of success and accountability that can only come from a free, competitive marketplace.

No more broken down buses.  No more broken down schools.  No more self-serving bureaucracies.

Just real choice … real educational freedom … and real academic progress.

At the very least, South Carolina should use every penny of school bus fuel savings this budget year to expand the cap on its successful special needs choice program.

***

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88 comments

Jackie Chiles December 22, 2014 at 10:21 am

“Why isn’t that money going into a taxpayer rebate fund?”

Uh…because prices will probably go up at some point. Do you really want your taxes to change based on the daily gas price?

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FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm

“… prices will probably go up at some point. …”

Easy there. Don’t anticipate what might happen in the oil markets, certainly g’ment Central Planning lumberheads would “hope” that costs rebound a bit so they would not be under this FITS cannonade.

So how about this: The SC empty school bus company could always put the savings into a “special” set-aside fund in anticipation of conversion of the 3600 behemoth bus fleet to dual fuel natural gas and diesel and gasoline … then some real savings will show up, like natural gas is way less than half as costly as gasoline or diesel, like around US$1.00 Dollar per gallon, delivered.

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Jackie Chiles December 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I did some work for a gas line installation company a while back and they weren’t too sold on CNG. Installing CNG lines would be a major boom for them, but they just didn’t think it’d be feasible. Example, gas stations with CNG have to have angled canopies to allow the gas that accumulates at the top of the canopy to escape. If you don’t and some one lights a cigarette- kaboom. Also, if you own a CNG car, you’ve got to have the mechanic inspect the tank every oil change to be sure it’s not corroding. Apparently if they don’t, there’s good chance it could corrode and the slightest fender bender results in another kaboom.

Not to disparage the government employees that keep up buses, but I’m not sure I’d risk their expertise inspecting CNG buses to be sure that little Johnny isn’t blown up in a fender bender.

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FastEddy23 December 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Little known: The Propane conversion kits, although sold for Propane only, are not just for Propane, but their little computers easily handle Natural Gas, right outta the stove pipe. (And those big high energy compressors need not apply. A small compressor that works for Propane does that trick too.)

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jimlewisowb December 22, 2014 at 10:25 am

It is indeed going to be a fine day in the neighborhood when one reads of Don Quixote Willie striking out on another crusade with his ever faithful sidekick Sancho Panza Tango

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Flip Coscoe December 22, 2014 at 11:38 am

SC is lucky to have a former governor Mark Sanford that signed legislation so the children can get to school and current governor NIkki Haley that has been the guardian of truth in protecting the children at DSS.

Public servants that America should be proud of (legislatively). Their pro-life views carry over into their policies and the legislation they support for the people that elected them.

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I'm With Jackass?? December 22, 2014 at 11:59 am

You’re about as hopeless as Grand Tango.

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Flip Coscoe December 22, 2014 at 12:03 pm

My friend you obviously hate this country.
If Americans would heed the advice of Grand Tango and ‘Thumper’, this country would once again become the greatest country God ever created.

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I'm With Jackass?? December 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm

God created America? I dying over here! Please go on…

God is funny! December 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

God also created retards.

grandtangosuglydog December 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm

i am proof!!!!!

Smirks December 22, 2014 at 12:31 pm

You’re about as hopeless as Grand Tango.

GrandTango posts on a blog nobody reads. Sandi is paid by Haley. Not quite as hopeless as Tango.

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I've got an idea! Elect me! December 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

Once we legalize the pot, we should use the left over bus money to buy “medicinal” weed and hand it out to the kiddies on the bus(in the form of brownies) for benefit of all; kids, teachers, bus drivers, etc.

We should also allocate some of the excess taxpayer money toward painting the buses in tie dye colors and install “La Cucaracha” horns to improve safety in terms of visibility and sound.

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Flip Coscoe December 22, 2014 at 11:32 am

Hilarious.

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Same ol' Same ol' December 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Well, you wouldn’t have to worry about crime rates going up if you keep all the little johnnies and jills (along with mom and dad… et al) stoned. Cewel dude… fukin’ A. I’m hungry.

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I've got an idea! Elect me! December 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm

More brownies?

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The Colonel December 22, 2014 at 11:10 am

“…Bear in mind South Carolina is the only state in America which owns and operates its own school bus fleet…

Not quite a “liar liar pants on fire” statement but close and hardly the full story. SC may be the only “state” that runs the bus fleet but it’s hardly the only “gubamintal organization” that operates bus fleets.

Dekalb County Georgia has their own bus fleet – in fact, someone just stole 90 batteries from them: http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/channel/school-bus-safety/news/2014/12/11/90-bus-batteries-stolen-from-georgia-county-district.aspx

Gig Harbor Washington just had a bunch of their district owned buses vandalized: http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/channel/school-bus-safety/news/2014/11/20/district-staff-removes-graffiti-from-25-buses.aspx

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FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Isn’t that how Christmas is supposed to work? G’ment employees, disgruntled at not getting big bonuses for Christmas, steal state/county owned equipment … SOP.

That’s how its done here in Taxifornia. You should see all of the really expensive tools gone missing from the $81 Billion Dollar Bay Bridge (or is it $18 Billion, I forget) … that are for sale in the flea markets right now.

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Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 11:47 am

At least our state run bus system is the best (state run system) in the nation. Do we really want to to give that up? It is a shining example of success. In fact it could be an example to the nation on how to reform other government programs.

Let’s suppose we ran the food stamp program (SNAP) the same way the school bus system is run. Instead of each recipient receiving a debit card that can only be used for food at regular grocery stores. The government instead ran there own stores for SNAP recipients. Wouldn’t that be so much better?

We could run the Federal college Pell grants the same way. Recipients would not be allowed to attend the college of their choice. A new system of Federal universities would be built specifically for them.

School transportation vouchers? It will never work. It’s too simple.

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Jackie Chiles December 22, 2014 at 12:18 pm

So you’d have multiple bus companies running the same routes trying to convince you to use their bus service to redeem your voucher? That seems inefficient.

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Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

That is the strange thing about free enterprise. No one can explain it, but it works. Everybody takes their prescription, whether it’s private insurance, medicaid or medicare to a private pharmacy. There are three pharmacies at every intersection on my way to work. Seems very inefficient. For some strange reason, I don’t believe that it would be better if the government took them over and consolidated them in the name of efficiency.

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Squishy123 December 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Is it the best state run system because it’s the only state run system?

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Correctomundo December 22, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Ding Ding Ding!

The beauty of the state, it’s monopoly existence self reinforces its need:

Who would make the roads? Who would run the schools? Who would police society?

Without the state, none of these things would happen.

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Squishy123 December 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm

So the other 49 states are doing it wrong?

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Correctomundo December 22, 2014 at 9:08 pm

The question is always how can it be done best IMO….

Just because something is the “norm” doesn’t make it best.

Smirks December 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

Geeze, you guys are all ruining the school choice circlejerk. If we just privatized the schools, then Johnnie and Jill would get to ride the brand spanking new bus to their private school courtesy of John. Q. Taxpayer, while Jethro, Tyrone, and Manuel ride a sputtering deathtrap of a bus to their crappy run-down public school. You know, because they chose not to go to the same school Johnnie and Jill went to. Because they had a choice. Totally. For real. And no more corruption! Lord knows when gubmint starts handing private entities free taxpayer dollars, they never collude with each other for their benefit and the public’s loss!

God bless the United States™ of Americorp, LLC.

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Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 11:54 am

You’re right. The auto companies collude all the time. Let’s nationalize them.

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Flip Coscoe December 22, 2014 at 11:58 am

You don’t like ‘school choice’ because it gives parents CONTROL of their children’s education. You prefer flushing taxpayer money down the state-controlled school toilets as it accomplishes the goals of liberals and socialists-brainwashing children to hate America by perverting historical truths.

Used to believe it was all about votes. Now I believe it is about subverting Democracy and all of our public institutions, including the judicial system.

How we end up with 2 police officers executed in their police car and liberals celebrating.

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Smirks December 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I don’t like school choice because it gives *some* parents control, and well, fucks everyone else over.

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Flip Coscoe December 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm

So EVERYBODY should stay in failed, state controlled schools?
By your logic divorces should be illegal because EVERYBODY should stay in failed marriages.

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Smirks December 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

So EVERYBODY should stay in failed, state controlled schools?

You’re a moron. People already have a choice, they just have to pay for it. As it should be.

If a private school, or set of private schools, were mandated to accept all children within their respective area (city, zip, district, etc.), then perhaps it could actually be called “school choice” and maybe it wouldn’t suck. But that’s not the system that’s being proposed.

The only thing the system proposed will do is give rich people a tax break, a portion of the middle class a way out of public schools, and the remainder left behind in them. Public education will have substantially less funding with no actual changes aimed at improving curriculum, improving test scores/graduation rates, etc., meaning those left behind are truly fucked, and with less people in them, people are going to give even less shits about them.

It’s all bullshit. It isn’t a fix, it’s just a way to segregate the “desirables” from the “others” and let the “others” rot in a special kind of hell.

By your logic divorces should be illegal because EVERYBODY should stay in failed marriages.

That doesn’t even make sense.

Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm

“People already have a choice, they just have to pay for it.”

Everybody has to pay for, but only those who can afford it have a choice. Some might be able to afford it if they didn’t have to still pay for the failed system also.

“If … private schools, were mandated to accept all children within their respective area …”

Private Schools don’t have the infrastructure to do that all at once. They should be allowed to have a lottery for space availiable. They can keep their current students who aren’t chosen for the lottery, but they must pay without a voucher. Schools can then gradually expand if they choose.

Tom December 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm

The public schools are no more a failed system than South Carolina’s worst in the nation private schools are a failed system. We have a lot of excellent public schools, and we have a lot of bad private schools.

“Private Schools don’t have the infrastructure to do that all at once. They should be allowed to have a lottery for space available.”

In other words kids already in private school get privileged treatment at taxpayers expense. Kids in public school have to fight for space while kids in private school don’t. And if they don’t get one of the spaces they get stuck in a school with fewer resources, because we are having to spend a fortune on private schools. That is crap.

If private schools want public money, their current students should have to compete for space with all public school students, since the public is paying. I.e. no special privileges for those already there; no special privileges because you are rich; no special privileges because of who your parents; and no special privileges based on religion. How many private schools want that?? None. .

Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Why do l bother responding to you? The only way you would accept vouchers is in a way that would insure that they fail.

—-“In other word s kids already in private school get privileged treatment at taxpayers expense.” —–
Not if they don’t win the lottery for their preferred school.

Philadelphia public schools are instituting reforms to better compete with charter and private schools. They are moving away from grade levels toward task competency. Each students assignments are individualized and they move ahead at there own pace and can individualize their curriculum based on their own interest an skills. Competition improves public schools.

Tom December 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm

First, please stop lumping private schools together with charter schools. Charter schools are public schools. They don’t discriminate based on wealth, lineage, or religion.

As for your second point, You said public school students should be allowed to enter a lottery for “space available.” Space available means after the private school children register, the public school children get to fight over space available for them.

Again, if the public is paying why should a privileged few have advantages. Why shouldn’t all children have to compete in the lottery for space?

Jan December 22, 2014 at 4:45 pm

“The only way you would accept vouchers is in a way that would insure that they fail and in the process destroy private schools.”

First when you have the public paying for the school, you no longer have s “private” school. It appears to me you are doing what Tom complains of. You want a school to serve a specific group of people, at public expense, and you want that school to have the ability to pick and choose who can attend, even if the admission process discriminates on the basis of wealth, race, religion, or linage against people forced to support the school.
.

Bible Thumper December 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm

You want to deny to those who can’t afford it, education that the rich can afford. Private schools that accept vouchers would not be allowed to discriminate among voucher recipients. A lottery would prevent discrimination. Any student winning the lottery would automatically be accepted.

Jan December 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

You are not being honest here. No one is proposing or interested in your system. All of the school choice proponents I know want a voucher or tax credits for all children in private school, and they do not expect to compete for private school space. They just want the money.

The school choice people are the ones who would kill your proposal. The are not really interested in making private school available to poor and lower income middle class people. For many in private school that would defeat the purpose of private school.

Bible Thumper December 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Look at the the places in which school choice has been enacted. It is popular with both the poor and minorities. It gives them power and influence over their children’s education. Schools have to listen because their voucher can be taken elsewhere.
Opponents raise all the bugaboos resegregation or subsidizing the rich. They don’t point to examples where minority parents want to reverse school choice.

Jan December 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm

This is from a non-partisan group looking a vouchers for NJ Schools. NJ has the Number 1 public school system in the country and does not have vouchers or tax credits for private school. These are real facts not speculation.

Taxpayer funded vouchers have been a consistent failure.

Academic Failure
Research, even by voucher supporters, has found that voucher students perform worse or the same as their public school counterparts. In Wisconsin, for example, voucher students began in 2011 taking the same standardized tests as the students attending the public schools. The vouchers students have consistently done worse than their public school counterparts. In fact, the performance of voucher students has been so weak that Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker tried to stop their taking the standardized tests, to make it more difficult to compare their performance to that of public school students.

In May 2013, Louisiana reported that only 40% of students participating in the State’s voucher program tested at or above grade level, while the state average for all students was 69%.

This failure of vouchers is particularly striking as voucher students are a very select group, hand-picked by the private and religious schools to ensure their success. They also include very few children with special needs — only 2% of the private school students versus almost 14% of Milwaukee’s public school students are classified as having special needs.

Even worse, between 56% and 75% of the Milwaukee students who attend a voucher school, leave before graduation. This high turnover rate impairs learning for the students attending both public and voucher schools.

Increased Segregation
Given their segregationist origins, it is perhaps not surprising that vouchers continue to increase segregation. A recent study of Wisconsin’s voucher program found “hyper-segregation” of students in choice schools by multiple socio-economic indicators, including race and income level. In Georgia, a state that has a voucher program similar to the ones proposed in New Jersey, a private school student is nearly three times more likely than a public school student to attend a school segregated by race or ethnicity.

Vouchers have produced similarly dismal results in other countries. Sweden, for example, which adopted vouchers in 1992, has seen its international test scores fall dramatically and segregation increase, as a result of vouchers. Chile, which adopted vouchers in 1980, as part of the Pinochet dictatorship’s privatization measures, has seen the same dramatic increase in segregation and decline in international test scores.

FastEddy23 December 23, 2014 at 8:22 am

Mmmmm … The Darwinian approach, that’s the way of natural selection. Parents with assets are able, food stamp collectors, maybe not.

Bible Thumper December 23, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Currently the state and local districts are spending $12,000 a year. Rich or poor.

Tom December 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Public education should be equally available to all, rich or poor, and it should be the best education in the world.

Bible Thumper December 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Public education discriminates against the poor based on the neighborhood they can afford to live in. There is no incentive to be the best in the world. Public education is a state subsidized monopoly. They have no competition in their own communities much less the world. Jasper County Schools work perfectly based on the incentives that currently exist.

FastEddy23 December 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm

What to the private schools cost there?

Rakkasan December 23, 2014 at 8:05 am

Also, who or what is going to be responsible with children with learning disabilities and other disabilities? All this “school choice” talk is just promoting the adage, “Life is like a shit sandwich. The more bread you have, the less shit you have to eat.”

Jackie Chiles December 23, 2014 at 9:44 am

“People already have a choice, they just have to pay for it. As it should be.”

Yeah, fuck poor people. They should continue to go to shitty schools because they can’t afford to move to a better school district. We should probably continue to talk about curriculum change and increased test passage while forcing them to go to school with a bunch of people who disrupt class so they can’t learn anything because they happen to live in a certain zip code.

“Public education will have substantially less funding with no actual changes aimed at improving curriculum, improving test scores/graduation rates, etc., meaning those left behind are truly fucked”

Except we’ve had public education for 100 years and we haven’t seen any improved curriculum, improved test scores or graduation rates. What about the current system makes you think that those changes will suddenly happen? Like if only the state legislature increased funding, magically there’d be an improved curriculum and improved test scores? If anything, a steady drain of students from your school would at least force you to try to make changes to the curriculum and try to improve test scores or your school will be no more. It’s not like whatever has been done so far is working so great that we can’t disrupt it.

“and with less people in them, people are going to give even less shits about them.”

This logic is like saying that programs that help homeless people get apartments wouldn’t work because it only helps some homeless people, which is unfair. And also, with less homeless out there, there will be less people caring about the homeless. It’s counter intuitive and illogical. Your argument seems to be that solving the problem will make people not care about the problem.

“It’s all bullshit. It isn’t a fix, it’s just a way to segregate the “desirables” from the “others” and let the “others” rot in a special kind of hell.”

I’m confused about this complaint. Are the “others” minorities? Poors? Mouth breathers? Again, the theory is that you get xyz dollars to go to any school. If a public school is so great, why can’t the others reform the public school they’re going to as they would if the system continued as it currently is?

Jan December 23, 2014 at 10:50 am

The answer is simple then. Fix the broken public schools. Because all public schools are not broken. That benefits everyone except children in private school.

We have plenty of really good public schools, in SC. Why go the counter intuitive route of punishing all public schools for the sins of the bad public schools.

Jackie Chiles December 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

If the public schools are good, then people will continue to go to them. We’ve heard the “fix the broken public school” song and dance for generations now. At what point will people admit that it’s not going to happen?

Jan December 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I have proposed a solution, in the past, but guess what; The school choice proponents are not interested. Why? Because they don’t really give a crap about improving public education or education in general. They just want the state to give them money so they can spend the money they are spending on private school tuition on something else. Its hard to maintain the country club bill or for mom to not work if you are paying for private school.

If you are correct and vouchers could help. (A position for which there is no evidence.) Then make vouchers available to students attending failing schools until those schools improve. That is a much lower cost and addresses the problem directly.

Jackie Chiles December 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

How does it fuck everyone else over?

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Social Democracy & Equality December 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm

*Equality* means everyone should have to suffer the same shithole of education across the state for the “common good” and “fairness”.

The Smirks Envy Fairy on full display.

If he was a committed Socialist he’d demand that all schools be funded the same per student in state and all kids mandated to wear the same clothes in the name of equality.

I’d suggest a Mao suit, but I’m sure Smirks has something better in mind. He should be in elected office because he knows best for everyone.

Tom December 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Because the taxpayers who do not have children in private school, either have to pay a ton more money than we are paying now, or the state has to cut the funding available for public school students and give the money to private school students. Thus everyone who is not in a private school or have a kid in private school is fucked.

Jackie Chiles December 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Huh? My understanding for school choice is you get xyz dollars per year to send your kid to school. You can send him to a private or public school. If even half the student population left to go to private schools, why would the half left with the public schools end up paying more? You’d theoretically be caring for less students than you would if people left to go to private schools, so why would you need to pay more to support less students?

RogueElephant December 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm

There you go again Jackie, making sense. The libturds can’t stand it. When the money follows the student the education establishment loses control. The parents get to make the decisions. Bureaucrats go ape shit. What a wonderful thought.

grandtangosuglydog December 22, 2014 at 10:25 pm

i was schooled in a barn and my daddy made me pledge allegance to ron paul…look how i turned out!

Tom December 23, 2014 at 10:24 am

As with most Republicans facts seem to boggle your mind. You are clueless. Jackie makes no sense at all. There is no such proposal. Why do conservatives think its ok to make crap up to get what they want? Too much Fake News I guess.

Tom December 23, 2014 at 10:18 am

Absolutely no one has proposed that system. Are you just making this stuff up as you go along? That would require us to shut down the public school system. Which we are constitutionally required to provide.

The “school choice” proposals or more accurately public funding of private schools proposals are in two forms. Vouchers and Tax Credits. I.E. people who choose private school would get a voucher or tax credit to help them pay for private school.

The people who would get these vouchers or credits are already in private school Maybe a few students would leave public school, but the private school system could not take very many and the poorest would not be able to afford private school even with the voucher. Tax credits are even worse than vouchers because poor people can’t even benefit from them at all, so they only benefit the rich.

There are 60,000 kids in Private school in SC if we gave each of them a $3000 voucher (less than half the cost of private school tuition) it would cost the state $180,000,000 and would not save one red cent, because that is before we take one kid out of public school. So where will that money come from? People with kids in public school and/or people without kids in school at all. So yes everyone except people with kids in private school get fucked.

So based on the theory that by transferring kids to private school we will save money, you would have to move 25,000 children from public to private school, just to break even, and that does not deal with infrastructure costs, like buildings and school buses. Which means you would probably need to double that number and fire thousands of teachers, and shut down hundreds of school buildings. Not to mention all the school choice people want way more than $3000.

On top of all that there are not enough private schools to take that many people, so for the foreseeable future breaking even would not be possible. So once again everyone except people in private school are fucked.

Jackie Chiles December 23, 2014 at 11:14 am

“Absolutely no one has proposed that system. Are you just making this stuff up as you go along? That would require us to shut down the public school system. Which we are constitutionally required to provide.”

That’s exactly the system that exists in New Orleans and other school choice areas. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323398204578489333180027550

It would not require you to shut down the public school system. There would still be public schools as there are in New Orleans.

“The people who would get these vouchers or credits are already in private school Maybe a few students would leave public school, but the private school system could not take very many and the poorest would not be able to afford private school even with the voucher. Tax credits are even worse than vouchers because poor people can’t even benefit from them at all, so they only benefit the rich.”

I don’t think you understand how tax credits work. A credit means you get the money, regardless of how much taxes you paid i.e. the child tax credit, the healthcare tax credit, the tuition tax credit etc. I suggest you do not do your own taxes this year. The theory behind vouchers is that schools will crop up that take the tax credit and that’s it, similar to the way Section 8 housing works.

“So based on the theory that by transferring kids to private school we will save money, you would have to move 25,000 children from public to private school, just to break even, and that does not deal with infrastructure costs, like buildings and school buses. Which means you would probably need to double that number and fire thousands of teachers, and shut down hundreds of school buildings. Not to mention all the school choice people want way more than $3000.”

There’s currently 742,325 students enrolled in SC public schools. By your figure, we’d only need 3% of them to transfer to a private school to make the program break even. That shouldn’t be that hard. Infrastructure costs? So you think that the government will be building private schools and then paying for their tuition? I’m not really sure where you get that plan from. The busing issue will be interesting, but I suppose the private schools could be expected to provide their own transportation for students. Hundreds of school buildings shut down? Well, ok. Then the private schools could lease those from the government. fire teachers? They can get hired by the private school now leasing their former building. These type of changes in ownership at particular buildings are normal in the healthcare industry. New company gets contract to provide doctor’s services at a hospital, it comes in and now all the doctors at that hospital work for new company.

“On top of all that there are not enough private schools to take that many people, so for the foreseeable future breaking even would not be possible. So once again everyone except people in private school are fucked”

Just take a deep breath. If hundreds of public schools are closing, private schools can and will be formed to take them over and operate the school there.

Tom December 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Taking 25 or 30k students out of public school will not reduce our infrastructure demand. We will still need the building space. We still own the buildings. We still have to pay for heat, air, maintenance, insurance, security. school buses, etc. We will still have to pay the school bonds that were used to build the facilities.

Second, if the state is paying, why should parents of one child have more options than parents of another child. We should not give any state money to a school who discriminates on the basis of race, lineage, wealth or religion.

Third I know exactly how a tax credit works. In SC in order to benefit from a $3000 credit (again way less than school choice people are asking for) you would have to have net taxable income of about $45,000. That is after mortgages interest and other deductions, exemptions, etc. Your gross income would probably have to be around 65k to 70k. People who make less than that would not be able to take advantage of the credit. The median household income in SC is about 45k before deductions. Therefore the average taxpayer in SC could not even take advantage of the credit. The credit is purely for the benefit of upper middle income and rich citizens,

Fourth, the NO school system was essentially wiped out by Katrina and most of its students displaced. So they were starting largely from scratch. Also, NO’s school system is based on Charter schools, not private schools. Finally who in their right mind wants to base their school system on New Orleans. Last I checked SC’s school system was ranked 42 and Louisiana’s school system was ranked 48th. Why don’t we base ours system on good school systems, like New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, or Massachusetts. Or even look outside the country, to say Finland the number one school system in the world. Oh, I know why. None of those places pay for private schooling.

grandtangosuglydog December 22, 2014 at 10:23 pm

we are all fucked…ask my son

Squishy123 December 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm

You don’t think the current system does? There are already is school choice. You don’t think parents in the midlands have a choice to send their kid to Lexington High School vs. Eau Claire?

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Jan December 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

They may have to move but, yes. Any child living within the Lexington High School District. Can go to Lexington High School. It does not matter who your daddy is, how much money you have, what religion you are, or what color you are.

grandtangosuglydog December 22, 2014 at 10:22 pm

you are the smartest person on fits next to gt…

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FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Privatizing of the SC empty school bus company is certainly a good option. … Until the union/g’ment/mugwumps/poli-wogs figure out that hiring a manager for each privatized route and privatized driver costs even more. (It seems to be the ambition of every g’ment employee to get his brother-in-law a g’ment job. And that is why so many pedophiles drive school buses, no kidding.)

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Squishy123 December 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Name one other state where school buses are run by the state government and not the school district.

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Huh? December 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Does the cognitive dissonance between your dislike for government intrusion on the civil liberties of the public ever cause you grief when you consider that corporations are using government to do so?

Is there ever a day for you on the horizon when consider the ramification of this unadulterated gov’t power you cheer for routinely?

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grandtangosuglydog December 22, 2014 at 10:21 pm

i don’t like you smirks…i think you work for obama…

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ABC December 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

Unless SC school buses are an exception, most run on diesel fuel. According to AAA, the average price of diesel has gone down by about 15% in the past year, while the price of regular unleaded has dropped nearly 40%. Diesel also continues to be almost a dollar a gallon more expensive.

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FastEddy23 December 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Mmmmmm … Dual fuel, natural gas and diesel engines are readily available. The costs of conversion of even fifteen year old equipment can easily be saved in a matter of months … Natural gas is right now selling for around One US Dollar per equivalent gallon … Duh!

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nitrat December 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Duuuh, Californiac. Many SC counties don’t have natural gas. Would you suggest some of the ones that don’t drive 50-70 miles several times a week to fill up?

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FastEddy23 December 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Of course not. That’s why I mention Propane, too.

Bio-Deisel may seem attractive, but, IMOP it *stinks*, it is *not cost effective* and if it were applied to 3600 school busses would probably use up all of the cooking oil in the whole state and then some.

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SomalianRoadCorp December 27, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Diesel is more efficient in large autos/trucks.

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nitrat December 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Charleston and Beaufort counties have the privatized (aka crony capitalist) school bus systems in this state, right?
And, the employees are unionized, right?
And, neither Charleston and Beaufort have never been able to determine if their privatized school bus systems or cheaper or more expensive for the district than when the state had the buses, right (ha, ha, yeah, right)?
Now that Molly Spearman is in charge at SCDOE, maybe she will let the taxpayers know which is cheaper and which is the only system that can be non-union.

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Great point Nitrat! December 23, 2014 at 10:21 am

“Charleston and Beaufort counties have the privatized (aka crony capitalist) school bus systems in this state, right? ”

That’s a good point. The problem with Republican cries for “privatization” is that they never go far enough. (probably because the general population doesn’t understand what a free market is)

Usually their arguments end up with some quasi-fascist mix of “private”(really, crony, to your point) and government “services”. It’s impossible to mix the two and expect any kind of fair and/or effective result.

The bussing contracts would inevitably go to some under scenes corporation controlled by the elected elite to enrich themselves. We see this over and over again in roads here in SC, or federally in Obamacare, where backgroup corps rush in with elected officers in the background via proxy ownership, consulting, board memberships, etc. and then the “navigator” or “broker” contracts with the ACA are steered to them.

Either way, the little man takes it up the ass, the pols get enriched, and there’s no free market in site.

The People can’t even grasp how a free market education would work/look, let alone find pols finding a way to enact it without getting booted out of office(even assuming that any of them wanted to, 99% of them don’t).

So it’s one form of fascism or another till the empire breaks down upon the weight of itself.

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BIN News Editorial Staff December 22, 2014 at 2:07 pm

sic(k) wiliie is such a voucher pimp.

He knows the voucher scam is dead in S.C., but he still keeps regurgitating this voucher rhetoric. Got to keep Howie the Voucher Clown happy so he will continue his monthly voucher payments. That makes sic(k) willie a voucher pimp.

As we have stated over and over on this little porn site of sic(k) willie’s vouchers by any name are a scam because they do nothing to help those who need it the most.

…except leave them further behind.

Howie the Voucher Clown and sic(k) willie know that. They just don’t care.

BIN News Editorial Staff
Flair and Balanced

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Squishy123 December 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm

How about the state get out of the school bus business all together? I’ve never lived in a state where the school buses weren’t owned and maintained by the school district. Just one more backward ass thing in this state.

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nitrat December 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm

That’s exactly why it really doesn’t matter if the state or the school board own them. We pay no matter which.
Having the state own the buses would – I guess – also mean that purchase expense doesn’t have to come out of local millage going to a school district. I’m sure some of you guys know the details of how that works.

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Squishy123 December 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Which is just another example of how SC does things vs. how the rest of the country does things.

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*Yawns* December 22, 2014 at 10:17 pm

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) –

Charleston County School District has been notified bus drivers voted Saturday to approve their contract with Durham School Services.

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Fleet December 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm

My two kids went to public schools. We monitored their education, kept in touch with their teachers, spoke with guidance counselors to ensure they were taking the proper courses, and had rules about doing your homework when you first got home. We told them that if they got in trouble at school, they got in trouble at home too.
They both graduated with awards, and both went to a “Top 20” major university.
The school they attended is over 50% Black, and has been blasted on this website by Fits.
If you put time in with your kids, they should be fine.

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SomalianRoadCorp December 27, 2014 at 11:17 pm

“you can pay for someone else to do so.”

Public K-12 education in ten wordzzz or less.

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Fleet December 28, 2014 at 10:32 am

You can pay someone else to do so, but I’m not paying for your kids if you’re too busy to monitor your own kids.

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Dennis December 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Why don’t you have someone from South Carolina contact ADOMANI and make your buses electric? They did it for Gilroy in California. They also have money to finance the conversions. Check out their website

http://adomanielectric.com/cgi-bin/video.pl

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Dennis December 23, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I forgot to mention that you pay off the financing through the fuel savings and get a zero emission school bus.

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9" December 24, 2014 at 2:36 am

Wanna save some money? Let high-school juniors and seniors drive the buses.That’s the way we did it in the olden day,but arguing with someone,who uses the term,’government-run school system’,over and over is pointless.The teenagers and young adults I know who went to public school,are very bright,and think you’re an idiot.

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nitrat December 24, 2014 at 9:59 am

I think those student bus drivers were better drivers, too.
Now, they put people behind the wheel of a bus who have a lifetime of bad driving habits and are allowed to drive without a governor to control the speed. I routinely encounter school buses doing 60+ on 55MPH and less roads…and, nobody cares.
Since driver’s ed has been farmed out to the free-enterprise private sector, drivers ain’t worth a damn; in cars, school buses and 18 wheelers. The most dangerous sin that most commit is tailgating. Man, if you are not smart enough to figure out the potential for disaster when you tailgate, you shouldn’t be driving.

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Dan Ruck December 29, 2014 at 11:36 am

Thanks for an interesting insight. You’re right. Why the hell aren’t our oh-so-busy legisboobs looking into this? What the hell is Nikki doing with her spare time these days? Cleaning the pistol she never bothered to register with the cops? What hellish Christmas gift did she get this year, anyway?

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