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SC House “Education” Report: An Orgy Of Big Government

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“REPUBLICANS” DOUBLE DOWN ON FAILED APPROACH TO ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT … 

For years, this website has been spelling it out in no uncertain terms: More money for government-run “education” – and more intervention by the state in our children’s lives – has failed to improve academic achievement.

Last year, the liberal S.C. Supreme Court agreed with us in its landmark “minimally adequate” court ruling.

“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 …

The S.C. General Assembly’s response to this court ruling?  Nothing … well, nothing but political posturing.

(Oh, and they dumped billions of your tax dollars into the government-run system … again).

Anyway, this week the S.C. House of Representatives’ Education Policy Review and Reform Task Force – commissioned by fiscally liberal S.C. Speaker Jay Lucas and chaired by left-leaning S.C. Rep. Rita Allison – released its long-awaited report (.pdf here) in response to this ruling.

Readers may recall this is the task force Lucas vowed would make “significant progress” in reforming government-run education in the Palmetto State.

Did it?  Absolutely not …

The Lucas-Allison report is a full-on endorsement of the failed, costly status quo “solutions” of the past – an establishment double-down that ignores proven free market reforms and wildly embraces top-down “one size fits none” planning.  Specifically, the document urges increased spending in poor school districts, increased spending on facilities (ahem, really?), increasing spending on transportation, increased spending on early childhood education (ahem, really?) and increased spending on a flood of new government programs (many of them administered by the state’s bloated, duplicative higher education bureaucracy).

It is, quite simply, an orgy of big government … a liberal pipe dream that would make Barack Obama blush (to the extent he’s not already well-pleased with the direction of “Republican” education policy in the Palmetto State).

Of course what’s missing from the report is every bit as telling as the taxpayer-funded largesse it includes …

“The task force has neglected to mention one of the most effective educational reforms, school choice,” a review of the task force’s work by the S.C. Policy Council noted.  “Nowhere in the report is there a reference to South Carolina’s small existing tax credit scholarship program (available only to exceptional needs students). Nor is there any hint that a new choice program could improve the state system’s performance.”

Indeed … and that is nothing short of galling given the empirical evidence that exists supporting the efficacy of parental choice.

The court’s ruling last fall made it abundantly clear that throwing more money and more government programs at our failing “public” schools was not the answer: Yet that is precisely what Lucas and Allison are recommending.

Meanwhile they have completely ignored the one thing that’s proven successful at raising academic outcomes …

What a joke …

Given our years of experience with liberal “Republican” politicians in South Carolina, we set the bar exceedingly low when it comes to our expectations for their policy recommendations.  And yet somehow, Lucas and Allison have still managed to come up short – dramatically short.

Everyone associated with this panel should be embarrassed.  And voted out of office at the earliest opportunity.

Having been confronted by the abject failure of their costly, bureaucratic approach to education – they now propose to “solve” the problem with more of your money.  And more bureaucracy.

Insanity …

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