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Midlands Educrat Touts Teacher Unionization In South Carolina

But would it really create a “more effective learning environment?”

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South Carolina is a proud right-to-work state. In fact, it’s the proudest right-to-work state in the entire nation – with only 2.3 percent of its workforce belonging to a labor union, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). No other state has a smaller percentage of unionized workers. The dearth of organized labor in the Palmetto State is one reason why many large companies choose to locate within its borders – well, along with the billions of dollars in market-distorting, taxpayer-subsidized incentives doled out by “conservative” politicians.

While South Carolina doesn’t have a significant union presence, several union-style groups have emerged in recent years hoping to create one within state government.

This week, the leader of one of South Carolina’s largest government-run school districts took to social media touting the “transcendent” role of labor unions in representing teachers and educational staff.

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“Their role transcends mere representation,” said Kim Moore, superintendent of Richland County school district two. “It’s about ensuring that the backbone of our education system, the educators and staff are supported, valued and empowered to provide the best education possible to students.”

Moore made her pitch for unionizing South Carolina’s failed government-run school system during an eight-minute video posted to her social media accounts.

“At the core of the labor unions mission is the advocacy for fair and just working conditions, which directly impacts the quality of education students receive,” Moore said. “These organizations engage in negotiations that cover a wide range of issues, including, but not limited to, wages, benefits, working hours, and class sizes. By fighting for reasonable class sizes, unions help ensure that teachers can focus on providing more personalized attention to students, catering to individual learning needs and fostering a more effective learning environment.”

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The problem with Moore’s argument? Taxpayers have pumped billions of dollars into fostering “a more effective learning environment” in recent years – only to see “more effective learning” remain elusive. In fact, South Carolina’s already atrocious rankings on key national rankings have actually dipped further.

Sadly, this is what happens when indoctrination trumps education … and when there is zero accountability for chronically abysmal outcomes.

In the state budget set to take effect next month, South Carolina taxpayers will spend a record $18,026 per child – or $13.9 billion – on the failed state-run system. That money doesn’t even include billions of dollars spent annual on local bond issuances – nor does it count the massive sums of carry-forward cash accumulating in school district bank accounts.

Within the upcoming state budget, South Carolina school teachers are in line to receive starting salaries of $47,000 a year (not counting benefits) – which is higher than the current national average of $44,530, according to the über-liberal National Education Association (NEA).

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As my media outlet has often noted, government bureaucracies are the only thing keeping organized labor in business. According to the BLS, the union membership rate for public sector workers (32.5 percent) continued to be more than five times higher than the unionization rate for private sector workers (6 percent).

Both of those numbers are trending downward, though. A decade ago, public sector unionization clocked in 35.3 percent while private sector unionization stood at 6.7 percent.

Overall, the total percentage of unionized workers has declined from 11.3 percent to 10 percent over the past decade. By comparison, when data was first collected in 1983 union membership stood at 20.1 percent.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

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 and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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1 comment

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The Colonel Top fan June 3, 2024 at 1:30 pm

Dr. Moore is very accomplished and in fact, her accomplishments/experience should have taught her better than to think that a union would fix anything (except the deficit in the teacher’s union’s bank accounts).

As a senior Army officer and an OSD level DA civilian, she had to have seen the idiocy caused by “unionized” governmental employees. Whether she recognized it for what it is or not is apparently now in question.

Despite having a union, Florida, where she held her previous job as a superintendent, has some of the lowest teacher pay rates in the US. The FEA union is apparently worried more about the falsely labeled “don’t say gay” and other woke BS issues than they are any real issue affecting the quality of education or teacher pay.

I will never argue that quality teacher pay and retention of high performing teachers through incentive programs is a waste of resources but creating more bureaucracy via a union is a sure way to head towards the Chicago outcome.

Rather than trying a failed model, why don’t we try eliminating the duplicative school districts in many of our counties (46 counties, 82 districts, some of which have fewer students than some of our largest high schools – Greenville County (1 district, 77,000 students wear neighboring Spartan burg County (7 districts, 45,000 students) out in every area of academic achievement. Charleston is he largest district in the sate and they wear RCSD 1 and 2 out. RCSD 1 is probably the worst managed district in the midlands area of the state with no real student achievement and multiple investigations (and plenty of more things needing investigation) going on all the time.

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