More Education Funding? Good Luck With That, South Carolina

Here we go again …

The drumbeat has begun … again.

South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run school system – which has benefited from massive funding increases in recent years – is clamoring for more money, and fiscally liberal Palmetto State lawmakers (who have an extra $1 billion to spend in the upcoming state budget) appear inclined to give it to them.

Sound familiar?  It should … this is what South Carolina does.  It’s what the state has always done.  Unfortunately, nothing ever changes – except the price of failure (which continues to rise as generations of Palmetto State school children continue to fall further behind their peers nationwide).

The impetus for this latest rinse-repeat edition of “Mo Money, Mo Problems?” A series of reports published by The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier decrying the failure of the current system – which saw an astonishing 27 percent increase in per pupil funding from 2014 to 2017 (not counting revenue expended on debt service and capital projects).

Per pupil funding soared above $14,210 that year – with local debt service and capital expenses adding another $2,741 to the per pupil cost.

For those of you who learned your math in a government-run school in South Carolina, that’s $16,951 per year … per child.

What did this massive investment purchase?  Easy: The ongoing collapse of academic achievement, which has now declined to the point where Palmetto State lawmakers can no longer say “thank God for Mississippi.”

Because South Carolina schools are worse than Mississippi’s … 


Who in their right mind would pump more money into a system like this?  South Carolina lawmakers, that’s who …

It is the same thing when it comes to our state’s badly broken infrastructure … they just throw more money at the problem, not in the hopes that it will go away but secure in the knowledge that it won’t.

Which means … you guessed it … even more money.

We hate to break it to the liberal mainstream media parroting this narrative but government-run schools in South Carolina do not need more money.  In fact at last count they were sitting on $1 billion in reserves – totally unnecessary for a system that receives guaranteed funding increases each and every year no matter how poorly it performs.

We have said it a million times before, we will probably say it a million times after this: The Palmetto State’s chronic academic woes will never be truly resolved until long-overdue market pressure is brought to bear on the current system.  That means universal parental choice – a system in which parents are allowed to take a percentage of the money being spent by the government attempting to educate their children and actually educating them with it for a change.

Unfortunately, all our state’s politicians do is pay lip service to this sort of reform.  In fact as we noted last spring, this same charade happens every year in the Palmetto State – choking off real choices in the academic marketplace while incentivizing the ongoing corrosion of our “public schools.”

But hey … let’s just throw some more money at the problem.



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