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SC Legislature’s “Minimally Adequate” Response To Education Crisis

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PALMETTO STATE LAWMAKERS IGNORING MORAL OBLIGATION TO FUTURE GENERATIONS

|| By FITSNEWS || The S.C. House of Representatives passed its budget last week, and we’ll be delving into that document a good bit this week as it heads over to the State Senate.

But this post isn’t (just) about dollars and cents … it’s about the Palmetto State’s fundamentally dysfunctional approach to education.  More to the point, it’s about the complete disappearance of this critical issue from the public radar at a time when it should be dominating headlines.

We’re referring of course to last fall’s “minimally adequate” court ruling from the S.C. Supreme Court – which determined that the state’s government-run education system (an effective monopoly in most corners of the state) was not fulfilling its constitutional duty to provide a “minimally adequate” education in poor, rural districts.

It also stated – explicitly – what we’ve been saying for years, namely that throwing more money at this failed system has not worked.

“Spending fails to provide students with the opportunity to obtain a minimally adequate education,” the court found. “Rather, the evidence demonstrates that there is a clear disconnect between spending and results.”

Exactly … and that’s coming from a court dominated by liberal justices.

Anyway, we’ve addressed the constitutionality of this ruling previously (arguing against the court) but there is no denying the conclusion reached by the justices regarding government-run “education” in South Carolina.

If anything, they didn’t go far enough …

“It goes without saying South Carolina’s government-run schools are not ‘minimally adequate,'” we wrote.  “They are totally inadequate – despite receiving billions upon billions of dollars in new money over the past few decades.”

Yet the court’s ruling – which was supposed to spark a long-overdue discussion about how to really improve academic outcomes in this state – has sparked nothing.

How come?  Well, state lawmakers have chose to focus their efforts instead this year on pushing gas tax hikes (ostensibly for infrastructure), new domestic violence legislation and so-called “ethics reform.”

Education?  It’s simply not on their radar … nor is anyone in the media (other than us) holding their feet to the fire on the issue.

To be fair, lawmakers in the S.C. House deserve credit for some modest expansions to the state’s existing parental choice program – which offers tax credit-funded scholarships to children with special needs – but they haven’t done nearly enough to inject market pressure into the equation.  And even the modest expansions to this minuscule program are under attack by the educrat establishment.

Bottom line?  The “minimally adequate” ruling – and its brutal underlying reality – got swept under the rug.  That is totally unacceptable … and most glaring, galling failure of the 2015 session of the S.C. General Assembly.

If our state ever hopes to achieve real economic progress (as opposed to bribing companies to come here with your tax dollars), then South Carolina’s future generations can no longer be held hostage by our failed “one size fits none” government education system.  That means our leaders must – at long last – start putting the needs of individual children first, not continue bowing down to the bureaucrats holding all of us back.

Lawmakers must expand school choice.  Dramatically.  And make it part of permanent state law.

Only then will be begin to see the sort of academic gains that money clearly couldn’t buy …

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