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South Carolina Republican Leaders Bow To Educrat Demands

Who is in charge at the South Carolina State House? “Red For Ed …”

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Republican leaders in South Carolina – including the former head of a lobbying group for educrats – offered a wholesale surrender to the failed status quo this week, proposing pay raises of up to 10.6 percent for teachers in the Palmetto State’s worst-in-the-nation government-run school system.

That’s more than twice the five percent pay raise originally proposed by GOP governor Henry McMaster in his executive budget.

Are any of these pay raises tied to merit?  Or improvements in academic achievement?

Of course not … 

Additional blanket pay raises are promised in future years, too … all for a system that has continued to fall further behind the rest of the nation despite getting massive funding increases over the past decade.

These pay raises – which would cost anywhere from $160-200 million annually – come at a time when government-run schools are hoarding a record $1.3 billion in unrestricted reserve accounts.   As this news outlet exclusively reported earlier this month, these reserve accounts have swollen by an additional $400 million in the last two budget cycles (a 42.3 percent increase).

That would be enough to cover these pay raises without demanding yet another massive taxpayer bailout …

(Click to view)

(Via Travis Bell Photography)

Unfortunately, McMaster, S.C. House speaker Jay Lucas (above) and state superintendent of education Molly Spearman appear to be falling in line with the demands of SC For Ed, an über-liberal advocacy group that has been dictating terms on Lucas’ so-called “reform” bill – H. 3759.

Just this week, the national new outlet Breitbart ran a lengthy piece about how these so-called #RedForEd groups are nothing but socialist fronts geared toward impacting next year’s national elections.

“Its stated goals – higher teacher pay and better education conditions – are overshadowed by a more malevolent political agenda: A leftist Democrat uprising designed to flip purple or red states to blue, using the might of a significant part of the education system as its lever,” Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy noted.

And these are the people driving education policy in the Republican-controlled Palmetto State? 

Conservative lawmakers have said they plan on attaching a modest school choice expansion proposal as an amendment to Lucas’ bill, but the Red for Ed radicals have vowed to defeat it.  And frankly, the amount of choice envisioned by these lawmakers is insufficient to achieve the sort of market-based accountability required to turn around the failing government-run system.

As we have stated over and over, the problem with “public schools” in South Carolina has little to do with money … and everything to do with the marketplace.  Or rather, the lack of a marketplace.  Until the state’s government-run system is subjected to true market-based accountability- i.e. universal parental choice – then no amount of money is ever going to reverse its doomed course.

“Pouring billions of dollars in new money into the same failed bureaucracies (and approaches) year after year after year is not change … it is simply forcing taxpayers to pay more for what we know from decades of experience isn’t working,” we wrote earlier this month.

Unfortunately, South Carolina’s GOP leaders remain unswervingly committed to propping up this demonstrably failed system.

Not as “conservative” as they claim to be, are they?  No … 

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