Post And Courier Exposes Failure Of “Public School Choice”

GOVERNMENT-RUN “CHOICE” STILL LEAVING THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS BEHIND || By FITSNEWS || The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier – a newspaper with a reputation for coddling establishment politicians and powerful corporations (at the expense of taxpayers) – has launched a new series on school choice this week entitled “Left Behind.” We’re not bashing…


|| By FITSNEWS || The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier – a newspaper with a reputation for coddling establishment politicians and powerful corporations (at the expense of taxpayers) – has launched a new series on school choice this week entitled “Left Behind.”

We’re not bashing the report … although we did feel it was important to provide some context for its findings.

This extremely well-researched, deftly written, in-depth profile series aims to uncover “the unintended consequences of school choice,” telling the stories of children who have been “stuck in gutted schools,” who are “tethered to a world of dwindling dreams.”

The stories are sad. Frightening.  Disheartening.

“Once a powerhouse Class AAAA school, North Charleston High can barely field sports teams anymore,” the report, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Berry Hawes noted. “Half of its classrooms sit empty. Saddled with a reputation for fights, drugs, gangs and students who can’t learn, middle-class families no longer give it a chance.”

“This is the unintended consequence of school choice,” the report added.

Wait … what?

We have a simple question to ask here: When the hell did South Carolina pass school choice?

Last time we checked (earlier this summer), the only real “school choice” in the Palmetto State was an $8 million-a-year temporary pilot program – one in which enrollment is strictly limited to special needs students on a first-come, first-serve basis (this program was upgraded to $12 million in the upcoming FY 2015-16 budget).  

By contrast, government-run schools – like the ones profiled in Hawes’ Post and Courier report – receive $8.6 billion annually (up from $7.5 billion five years ago). Oh, and that $8.6 billion doesn’t include capital expenditures … or the $1 billion government schools are currently sitting on in “reserve” funds.

The Post and Courier, therefore, must be referring to so-called “public school choice” – which this website has long maintained is not really choice at all (because the money remains in the government system).

Still, the paper doesn’t necessarily clarify that point. It merely states that “school choice” has caused North Charleston High School and other government-run schools to “wither,” while giving “thousands of other local students critical academic legs up.”

We reached out to Hawes – the author of the series – in an attempt to clarify exactly which “choices” she was talking about.

“These are all public schools,” she confirmed.

Exactly.  Which means after throwing billions of dollars in new money at a failed “one size fits all” model, South Carolina’s government run K-12 monopoly is now throwing billions of dollars in new money at a failed “public choice” model.

Hawes made it clear to us her report is not suggesting an end to Charleston’s “public choices” – nor does she have an axe to grind against parents availing themselves of these choices, either.

“I don’t think the parent who chooses to do something else for their child’s education is at fault,”  she said.  “I think the fault is with the school district – which has to figure out what they’re going to do with the other kids.”

We agree …

“I’m not advocating to throw more money at it, that’s not the answer,” she added.

Again … no argument here.  In fact the uber-liberal South Carolina Supreme Court reached the same conclusion last year when it ruled that the Palmetto State was not fulfilling its constitutional duty to provide a “minimally adequate” education in poor, rural school districts.

That ruling stated – explicitly – what we’ve been saying for years.

“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.”

How did state lawmakers respond to that ruling?  They did nothingexcept throw more money at the problem.

Hawes’ report is a compelling reminder of the root problem affecting education in South Carolina: The total lack of market pressure to bear on the government-run monopoly.

Don’t believe these market forces make a difference?  Educate yourselves …

All of us want the same thing here: Better educated children who are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to compete in a world that’s currently giving no quarter.  And which looks to be getting harsher by the day.

We just have to figure out how to get there …

Hawes’ report?  It strikes us as proof positive that “public school choice” is not the answer.


Related posts


South Carolina Coastal Community Mourns Lost Teen

Will Folks

South Carolina Leads The Nation In Population Growth

Will Folks

Swimmer Lost Off Litchfield Beach

Will Folks


TroubleBaby August 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm

“This is the unintended consequence of school choice,”

Huh, I thought that was the unintended consequence of running a shitty school.

Jackie Chiles August 20, 2015 at 2:50 pm

I’m also pretty sure it was the intended consequence of school choice. Crappier schools would have to change or die off.

TroubleBaby August 20, 2015 at 3:44 pm

You can see how no matter how pathetic/crappy any government institution is, it’s almost impossible to kill it off, even with alternatives available. The gov’t rarely shuts any part of itself down, it just limps along in dysfunction.

The hydra will keep sprouting heads to feed the heads that are half dead.

It’s only taxpayer money feeding it, and there’s always more where that comes from.

sandamhernandez August 21, 2015 at 2:03 am

????????????????????????????????????? my amigo’s sister makes 83$$/hour on the web……..on saturday I got a top of the degree audi since getting a check for 4216$$ this most recent 4 weeks in addition, ten thousand last-munth . irrefutably about it, this really is the most enamoring occupation Ive had . I really began six months/earlier and on an extremely fundamental level straight away was making more than 87$$ p/h . endeavor this site

????? ???????????????????????????????? GO TO THIS AND CLICK NEXT LINK INSIDE IT FOR WORK DETAILS AND HLP

The Water is Wide August 20, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Blame whitey, and gentrification, which is apparently the same thing to the people making comments on that article.

Rocky Verdad August 20, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Admit this – North Charleston is a craphole. It’s largest employer left years ago, and even with Volvo coming in and Boeing at the airport, and if we expand the port, it’s still going to be a crap hole. No body making good enough money to live beyond the Ashley is gonna live in No Chas. Better to pave most of it over and make a large rail terminal for the port. The rest of it turn into a giant paintball competition area. Otherwise, stick a fork in it, it’s done. Oh, and build a wall between NChas and Charleston proper.

CNSYD August 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm

News Flash! Volvo is not coming to N. Charleston. Exit 187 is not even in Charleston County.

amused observer August 20, 2015 at 3:48 pm

I’m sure private schools like Porter Gaud and Bishop England would be happy to accept the students in North Charleston. Really….

The Colonel August 20, 2015 at 4:29 pm

If the kid comes to school to work most private schools are delighted to accept them – if they come for day care, well, that’s a different story. I’ve had kids in public and private school, have one in both right now – they both have their benefits and drawbacks but my high schooler in private school gets the attention he needs to be successful and I get the communication I need from the school to ensure we’re working as a team.

Todd August 21, 2015 at 1:12 am

People moving away from bad neighborhoods to escape bad schools is a choice? That has to be a joke. It is basic survival. The ones “left behind” are the ones that scared everyone else off to begin with. They don’t deserve your pity. All of our public school are to varying degrees just children’s day prisons. Halfway houses until the kids are old enough for the real thing. With a system that social promotes kids who should be expelled it is no wonder school turn to crap as soon as real estate values start to slide in an area.

BIN News Editorial Staff August 21, 2015 at 4:48 am

Howie the Voucher Clown and his Chief Voucher Pimp (sic Willllliy) have been exposed as the voucher whores they are.

They don’t really care about all students.

They only care about the voucher scam to rob from the poor.

Vouchers (regardless of what Howie the Clown and sic(k) willie call the scam) would do nothing but leave those who need help the most even further behind.

Howie’s voucher scam is dead is S.C.

A former Midland’s elected official said so, and he was wright. Sic(k) willie keeps getting payout slugs from Howie, so he will keep pimping the voucher scam.

But, we keep hearing that giant sucking sound as the S.C. Legislature keeps flushing Howie the Voucher Clown’s scam down the toilet into the sewer – where it belongs.

BIN News Editorial Staff

blueyescrying August 21, 2015 at 9:15 am

It doesn’t matter how much money or how good the teachers/books/materials are, if the individuals don’t want to be good, productive students, they are never going to be good, productive students, especially at the high school level. By that time if they have already started joining gangs and bringing weapons and guns to school, that is all they are interested in. Therefore, the people who actually care about their education make the choice to move to a different school, and rightfully so. Why should their children, who want to learn, be dragged down by the degenerates at gang ridden schools? Besides, I think education should be paid for, in part, by the parents and not totally by the state anyway. That way we can really see who wants their children to be successful (because they would actually pay) and who is really just looking for a daycare to dump their children (because they would not be willing to pay).

Lone Ranger August 21, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Will Folks—with the brain of a very small pea and the
hypocrisy of Joe-Rip-Down-The-Flag-Wilson said

Let’s jump on the bandwagon and bash Confederate patriots
now that the Charleston nine are all dead

Meanwhile the conservatives whom Nikki and Joe stabbed in
the back kept home-schooling their kids

While the cesspool schools Nikki and Joe kept throwing MORE
money at kept flushing—hitting the skids

But Joe and Nikki—content with Will to just know about Jesus—never
could grasp like Psalm 53:1 fools

That the reason that Leroy can’t read is the Godless
government that rips off taxpayers to run failed schools !!!


Leave a Comment