Smart Funding for Smarter Schools

From the SC State House Blog: Chairman Jeff Duncan takes on K-12 Funding Reform.

The Voice has long argued that South Carolina’s messy, perverse and chaotic funding of K-12 education needs to be reformed.

Despite an average per-child allocation of $11,480, millions of dollars are being siphoned off on bureaucratic waste, administrative salaries and needless staff growth – all while tough economic times are forcing many private school parents to re-enroll their children in public schools.

A streamlined funding system would allow the money to follow the child.

Instead of throwing taxpayers’ money at districts via block grants and programmatic “categories,” the state portion of K-12 spending would follow the child from school to school through a weighted student formula. This type of child specific funding would be a big step toward cutting the shameful 55 cents per dollar waste on non-instructional spending.

Leading the fight for common sense K-12 funding is Representative Jeff Duncan. As he explains in this brief interview, total spending on K-12 education exceeds $7 billion and teachers, parents and lawmakers alike are frustrated with the lack of transparency and efficiency.

Still, some with a heavy and personal financial stake in the status quo have lobbied against reform. This despite a recent admission by Jim Rex himself that greater school autonomy in making spending decisions would help improve instruction and tighten fiscal discipline.

K-12 education is too important for South Carolina to aimless throw ever more money at. Cleaning up the funding system is the necessary first step in moving toward a more just and effective education for all children in the state.

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5 responses to “Smart Funding for Smarter Schools

  1. Why are State Employees facing salary reductions before employees who are on the Terry program face a reduction in their gravy boat funds?

  2. Successful businesses outsource portions of their daily functions that they do not specialize in so they can be more effective in their area of interest.

    Having a child who is special education, I can say that our school district is only interested in providing the minimum required by law. If your high schooler can sing all of the words to The wheels on the buss go round and round, they are considered to be making progress and to be recieving a FAPE.

    School District’s should cosider outsoursing Special Services to an agency who has a genuine interest in providing meaningful instruction for our kids.

    The current method of warehouse them until the age of majority, talk the kid out of remaining in education and then dropping out of high school as a non-special education student should have never been an option. This offers misleading data to the State Department of Education.

    Our Special Education staff is well versed in telling us that “This is all we are required to do by law”.

    I think bringing specialized experts in would change this mindset and ultimately allow children with special needs an opportuity to be in higher tax brackets than of years past.

    Doing things the same way and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

  3. Governmental institutionalized public education is a monopoly. The protection of this system is intrenched. The only way out is to get out and hope the legislature gives us our educational dollars to make choices in the best interest of our children. So far, I haven’t found any choice in or out of the system that offers democracy. The wheels on the bus… are flattened by the Commission of Higher Education dictatorship over admission policies enforced upon secondary education diploma requirements. We all know the states spiral standards are failing to teach coherencey of subject in the mumbo jumbo of disconnected content. Why do we try and teach 2nd graders the branches of government when adults don’t even understand the power structure of controlling the masses? Insanity is the rule of thumb inside education that creates despotism over the mind. Higher level critical thinking that is creative and innovative are not allowed inside the one-size-fits-all standards of follow the directions and do as your told. Accoutability is the monoply over the systems pecking order of who is worthy of an education and who is not. The system has decided that if you don’t fit in the box then they will make life h- until you leave. There are no refunds on consumer satisfaction for services not rendered.

  4. Pingback: Budget cuts invite commonsense reforms in Georgetown « The Voice for School Choice

  5. Pingback: Waffling on Student Funding Reform « The Voice for School Choice

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