SC “Educracy” Pays Good

… WE WERE WRONG ABOUT HOW TO BEST “REFORM” THIS AGENCY || By FITSNEWS || We realize “educracy” isn’t a word. Just try and pronounce it (without feeling anti-semitic, anyway).  You’ll see what we mean.  We also realize our headline should have read “pays well.” But we offer no apologies on…


|| By FITSNEWS || We realize “educracy” isn’t a word. Just try and pronounce it (without feeling anti-semitic, anyway).  You’ll see what we mean.  We also realize our headline should have read “pays well.”

But we offer no apologies on either count … other than to say we were educated in government-run schools in South Carolina.  And government-run education in the Palmetto State is about as worthless as government-run ethics.

Which brings us to our point: Cathy Hazelwood.

For years, Hazelwood has been an attorney at the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) – where she has generally concluded that no South Carolina elected official ever did anything wrong.  Well, there was that one time … 

Anyway, Hazelwood has traded in her $70,000-a-year (not counting benefits) gig at the “ethics” commission for a $119,000-a-year (again, not counting benefits) position with the S.C. Department of Education (SDE) – another entity which knows a thing or two about doing nothing.

Well, unless its employees are moonlighting on political campaigns.

On top of her six-figure salary, Hazelwood is getting a $3,000 bonus.  For what?  It’s not clear.

“Not sure how you get a bonus after six weeks on the job,” one source told us.

Sheesh …

We used to argue at the margins on the SDE – advocating for the agency’s superintendent (a job currently held by this “Republican“) to be an appointed position, not an elected one.

Now we see the pointlessness of such a “reform.”  And the senselessness of our advocating for it all these years.

That’s right … we were wrong.

It doesn’t matter whether the leader of the state’s education bureaucracy is appointed or elected … not when the entire office needs to be razed to the ground.

And that doesn’t just go for the multiple floors of overpaid bureaucrats in the Rutledge building in downtown Columbia, S.C., it goes for the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) as well.

Seriously: After decades of getting billions upon billions of dollars in new money, what have South Carolina’s government-runs schools managed to produce?

Worsening failure, that’s what …

We’re not saying government should have no role whatsoever providing for the education of the “least of these.”  We’re simply saying there’s a far better way to go at it that dumping truckloads of money into the pockets of unaccountable bureaucrats at the local, state and federal level.

We’re referring, of course, to vouchers and/or scholarships for low-income students and tax credits for everyone else … with existing government-run schools permitted to keep their bricks-and-mortar as they transition into a market-based system.

South Carolina taxpayers currently spend $13,000 per child on abject failure.

Our guess is the free market could dramatically improve our abysmal outcomes at a fraction of the cost … but we certainly don’t have to guess what will happen if we change nothing.


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jimlewisowb March 16, 2015 at 8:53 am

Justification for a bonus ? – she showed up for work and put in a full 20 hrs

If she had put in 40 hrs, she would have picked up $12,000

shifty henry March 16, 2015 at 10:04 am

She’s been parking only in her assigned parking space, and has, so far, not collided with another car either arriving or departing…..

Diogenes March 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

Just curious: Does the Folks’ family’s children attend public or private school?

Bible Thumper March 16, 2015 at 11:28 am

What difference does it make? Either way he pays for the public schools.

Right? March 16, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Would just go to show if he is a true believer in his “worst in the nation” tagline, or if he just uses stories like this as clickbait to line his wallet.

CNSYD March 16, 2015 at 9:08 am

Howie Rich just called and said for you to keep watching your mailbox for the check he mailed today.

RogueElephant March 16, 2015 at 9:26 am

Howard Rich cares more for the education of our children than the ed. establishment. All they are looking out for is their paycheck plus benefits.

Just Wow March 16, 2015 at 11:39 am

Man..that Kool-Aid must taste great because it appears that you have consumed a bunch of it.

Good Point! March 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm

You know, you bring up a good point. Everyone is bashing Rich all the time, especially treating him as corrupt, etc., yet not once is the question of “why” ever asked by those bashing him.

“Why” does Rich contribute money to trying to turn state models of education toward some semblance of free market activity?

Seriously, if he’s crooked, what company does he own that would benefit him from such a change?

I think he’s a “true believer” myself…so even if you disagree with his viewpoint, to suggest his character is deficient doesn’t seem fair.

vicupstate March 16, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Did it ever occur to you that by dramatically reducing government spending on education, he could get his paid whores, aka politicians, to cut his taxes? THAT is what he is after, and if that means we return to the days of education by paid tutors, primarily for the wealthy, he doesn’t care.

ALL of the voucher schemes give tax breaks to those already in private schools, while leaving the public students to get by with MUCH less than what they get today. The vouchers are not nearly enough to pay for private school, so the middle/low income students don’t get a private school education anyway.

Mike at the Beach March 16, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Soooooo, I’m no Howard Rich fanboy like FITS, but your theory is that Rich has spent kajillions of his own dollars to get him and his 1% buds a few small tax vouchers for private school? Unpack that for me, because I think I’m missing it…

Tangerine March 16, 2015 at 9:33 pm

I couldn’t even think of how to comment on that, way beyond incredible – yes, please “unpack” it for us.

no idea March 17, 2015 at 4:41 am

no idea why, but you are right…he has spent kajillions

Good Point! March 17, 2015 at 8:33 am

You’re not missing anything. His conspiracy theory makes no sense.

It’s the equivalent of Nazi “Jews eat babies” propaganda.

rdj March 16, 2015 at 9:48 am

Where are all my die hard southern republicans who swear the free market can do everything better than the government …
Oooops everything but my government job !

Tangerine March 16, 2015 at 3:06 pm

I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard republican, but some of us are busy with home schooling.

rdj March 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Glad you can afford to stay home … I cannot

Tangerine March 16, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Start a business, work your ass off for years and at my age you just might be a stay home mom :)

rdj March 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm

I did start a business that’s been over run by illegal immigrants and their cheap labor. Its always funny to me how off subject people get in their comments. But since you seem interested …. imagine that every person who went to the hospital had insurance or paid their bill, how much cheaper your bills and insurance would be. Now imagine that every public school ran as efficiently as a private school with as good of results.
Stay on subject …
$13,000 per child is ridiculous

Tangerine March 16, 2015 at 5:05 pm

<—- dying laughing. WHO strayed from the topic?

$13,000 is ridiculous and while that "might" be the state average it is far less in the rural district I live in. Last I checked it was 6-8 k per student.

I support School Choice. Seems in SC we are always reinventing the wheel – I mean look at the most recent standards developed. I wonder how much it costs to take out less than 10% of the Common Core Standards and label it something else?

Tangerine March 16, 2015 at 5:13 pm

To address your latter issue about healthcare. Here is a comment, where I corresponded with a friend in email exchange – wonder what the doctors think?:

“As a former physician, I can say that deeding the medical care system to the insurance co’s is a HUGE mistake. We have had and still have a wacky socialistic system that eventually will bankrupt the country. I had a kidney stone a while back and went to the ER. I ordered some IV Dilauded so I’d get knocked out and let the stone pass. They did a quick CAT scan. Spent 3 hours out on a gurney. Woke up and passed the stone on my own. Bill was $8000. I called and said I didn’t have insurance. Bill now $3000. Told them I’d come down that day and pay in cash. Final bill $1400.

Differences were explained that the $8000 was for the insurance co’s to knock down to $3000 or $4000K. That price above the $1400 was to pay for those who use the ER and don’t have the money or insurance for a family physician. That’s how the hospital makes up the deficit. So, that’s the socialistic system that does not work.

Germany and France have WONDERFUL systems. No insurance co’s. Patient and Dr. make the decisions.

US ranks VERY low in the industrialized world as far as medical treatment goes. This is a universal feeling among my Dr. friends…”

rdj March 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm

The school system kinda works the same in reverse, you pay $13,000 for a $7,000 education and get no choice at all unless you can afford to pay all your taxes and still afford private or home school. I cannot …
I have to drive past a school that I want my son to attend to sit in traffic for 45 minutes to get him to a school we dont like ….

Tangerine March 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Been there done that. Only the school I was sitting is traffic waiting, more like an hour most days, was rated as one of SC’s best – ranked 10 on best schools in SC. If that is the best we have, good grief!

At the time I was working and I will never forget the day I received a call AT WORK to complain my child showed up to class without a pencil? Apparently a lost pencil because I bought a ton of school supplies and can’t imagine why it was important enough to call me at work, when I had never received any notification whatsoever they were in need of school supplies. I might also mentioned, I contributed a great deal of my time, after working a ridiculously long day, to fund raising for a sport that was not school funded.

I agree, we are paying 13k for a 7k education with no choice. I am fortunate enough to home school and I NEVER wanted to be a teacher. In all honesty, I still don’t want to be a teacher, but out of necessity, that is what do with my days because I feel it is in the best interest of my child.

I can’t find a school within driving range that is strong academically, that isn’t too radical, too liberal, or a long drive to a religious school that I don’t necessarily share their views.

Where are the schools in SC that focus on academics? I want one of those.

Tangerine March 17, 2015 at 2:09 pm

I might retract part of that, I’m not even sure it’s worth 7k in some cases.

NSJS March 16, 2015 at 10:29 am

That’s a bargain for someone like Hazelwood.

Doris March 17, 2015 at 7:10 am

It’s hard to find somebody who will do exactly has her political mentors tell her to do without question or conscience. Some of us in the office did a background on Hazelwood a couple of years ago trying to understand her puzzling lack of action on a particular complaint. It was very interesting to say the least. She’s a nice little puppet.

Edgar March 16, 2015 at 11:36 am

“Hazelwood has been an attorney at the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) – where she has generally concluded that no South Carolina elected official ever did anything wrong.” The most truthful statement ever published on Fits. I worked with her twice in the past 10 years. Both times, she kept asking me for more information and data. It became clear she was only a puppet for some unknown politicos.

Uh Oh March 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Real question: how much are those d-bags Dino Teperra and Emily Heatwole making??

Soft Sigh From Hell March 16, 2015 at 5:19 pm

“. . . PAYS WELL”

There is probably some irony here somewhere.

Mike at the Beach March 16, 2015 at 9:21 pm

I think he was being coy (notice I didn’t say “funny”)…

Beartrkkr March 16, 2015 at 11:23 pm

She should have put in for the head of DHEC. Sounds just as qualified as the others, and would have made even more money.

BIN News March 17, 2015 at 12:02 am

sic(k) willie must have gotten a raise from Howie the Voucher Clown. How about some truth in advertising sic(k) one. How much voucher scam money has Howie the Voucher Clown given you over the years? Please include the under the table payments.

Tangerine March 21, 2015 at 11:56 pm

You are such an arse, no idea why FITS doesn’t stop you from posting, probably a revolving door. While I believe in free speech, I also believe in property rights. You cross the line IMHO.

FITS is too kind and while I don’t necessarily agree with snuffing out free speech – you are just being an ass.

You, my friend, are the clown on this site. Think about it.

M326 March 17, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Just a few days ago Fits ran an article on how much better kids from other countries (primarily European) do on various tests and cognitive functions. We looked pretty bad by comparison. All those other countries doing so much better than are we have a central government controlling all education, even higher education. They have a national educational system. We blindly fight against national control. Why? Who knows? It certainly can’t be because our system is doing the job. Those stats suggest that nationalizing education under control of the federal government is the answer because it works in all those other countries.

Nowhere else in the world is privatizing education through vouchers or otherwise being practiced. So how can we possibly know the Fits/Rich model works? There are no examples of it in operation. We can’t know. There is a bit of hypocrisy at work here.

Tangerine March 17, 2015 at 6:41 pm

I have since researched the article and came to my own conclusions. Look at the countries who above US – they are much smaller. MUCH. Japan is #2 and their entire country is the smaller than Japan.

Size does matter….

M326 March 18, 2015 at 7:07 am

Point taken. How about if we eliminate local districts and have education run directly by the states? I am familiar with European educational models but not oriental ones. Still, European systems seem to outshine ours in many cases and they are strongly nationalized systems. My point is, fine educational systems can be run by centralized governments that appear to be doing a much better job than our system. If the point is to provide children with good educations, those models cannot be ignored.

Tangerine March 17, 2015 at 6:45 pm

I will disagree with you in the case of voucher and privatizing education – look at #1 ranking which is S. Korea. Their culture is very different than ours, the teachers are something of reverence. Many parents pay LARGE sums (most of their income) for education. Yes, government subsidizes. They have far more private schools, based on my research.

Sad it takes days to respond, I started to respond earlier, but thought a dead topic – short attn. span to the topic. However, don’t take my word, do your own reseach….


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