I really don’t want to invite the sort of karma that comes from schadenfreude – the German word for rejoicing in others’ misfortune. It’s a bad look. Similarly, none of us should be happy when impactful voices take leave of the marketplace of ideas.
Still, I must admit deriving some satisfaction from the Snagglepuss-esque “exit, stage left” of SC For Ed, a liberal organized labor group which spent the better part of the last five years pushing education policy in South Carolina further to the left.
SC for Ed is (or was) part of a left-leaning national organized labor movement – “Red for Ed.”
After organizing teacher walkouts over funding complaints back in 2019 – causing “Republican” leaders to cave to their demands – SC For Ed organized walkouts the following year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, the group attacked Palmetto State schools for refusing to go “fully virtual” in response to rising Covid-19 cases – even though by that time it was abundantly clear children were not facilitating the spread of the virus.
Even Anthony Fauci – director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and arguably one of the most notorious Covid-19 fear-mongers – belatedly acknowledged (after the 2020 election) that America should “keep the schools open” despite higher case numbers because “the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all.”
Despite this, SC for Ed attacked Palmetto State leaders for refusing to return to virtual education – accusing them of being “dangerous” and “irresponsible.”
Hailed by the mainstream media in South Carolina as a “teacher advocacy” group – one which “forcefully campaigned for pay raises, better working conditions and teacher representation in education policymaking” – SC for Ed has announced an abrupt, unceremonious end to its advocacy operations.
“After careful deliberation, the board of SC for ED has decided to indefinitely pause many of the direct advocacy efforts the group has undertaken since 2018,” a letter posted to SC for Ed’s Facebook page earlier this week noted.
According to the letter, the leaders of the group are suffering from “burnout.”
“We will no longer be updated a website, responding to email or direct inquiries or planning events,” the letter noted.
“Recent years have brought increasingly harmful and discouraging attacks on the rights of students, teachers, and families – including the failure to equitably fund schools, the promotion of anti-teacher conspiracy theories, and the passage of voucher bills that redirect funds away from our community public schools and towards unaccountable private entities,” the letter added.
(Click to view)
Last time I checked, government-subsidized indoctrination was attacking families in the Palmetto State – not “anti-teacher conspiracy theories.”
And voucher bills? Those were barely even up-and-running … and limited exclusively to special needs students.
The sad fact is school choice in South Carolina is a shadow of what it ought to be … and of what it is in other states which have decided to prioritize academic freedom. And while the program is on the cusp of an expansion in the Palmetto State, “Republican” leaders – who continue to defy their stated conservative principles on multiple fronts – remain slavishly devoted to the status quo.
As a result, the state’s failed government-run system – which has continued to fall further behind the rest of the nation – keeps receiving massive increases in taxpayer funding. Per pupil funding on South Carolina’s failed government-run system is pushing $18,000 per child, per year … totaling nearly $14 billion annually. And that’s not counting carry-forward balances hoarded by districts, federal “stimulus” funding or proceeds from local bond referendums.
Red for Ed capably enabled this leftward lurch … but the post-Covid landscape has clearly opened the eyes of Palmetto State parents to the real enemies of academic achievement in South Carolina.
Will Palmetto politicians heed this marketplace shift?
We shall see …
BANNER VIA: GAGE SKIDMORE/ FLICKR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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