… 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 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.
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.