Who Are These People, Why Are We Paying Them?

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Across the state, school district administrators are trying to determine how to deal with state budget cuts. Jim Rex, and other education officials, have declared public education spending to be in desperate straits, but have yet to get desperate enough to start really cutting off extraneous expenses.

Every month, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on “Non-State Education and Training Services.” As The Voice has pointed out before, this category of expenditures can be more accurately described as “Consultants and Contractors.”

In February of 2009, the State Department of Education spent $358,398 on non-state consultants and contractors. Going through a list of the expenses reveals little but the name of the company receiving the money, and the amount of the check. For all the taxpayers know, these people could have all been paid to consult on toilet fixtures at the Rutledge Building.

Some people (mainly the contractors) might protest that these are very necessary costs, incurred in the carrying out of actual instruction. Maybe, but how are taxpayers supposed to ever discover the real nature of these expenses?

If parents are being warned that classroom instruction could be harmed by budget cuts, then they have a right to know why this much money is being spent, and exactly what it is being spent on. If teachers are being told that they could lose their jobs in local classrooms, then they have every right to know what the money that could be paying their salary is being spent on.

Below is a list of payments made in February of 2009 to “Non-State Education and Training Services.” Yes, the list is vague, and the nature of the expenses unclear. That’s the point! If any of these are costs more important than instructional expenses and teacher salaries, then we are eager to hear an explanation from Jim Rex or the contractors themselves. If you have any information on any of these expenses, then please contact The Voice and let us know.

There is truly a need for fiscal accountability in South Carolina public schools, but it is never going to happen as a result of education bureaucrats regulating themselves. The accountability families want will come about only when parents are empowered to act on the information they have about the school their child attends. Through school choice, the SC Education Opportunity Act promises to bring about a new level of real transparency and accountability.
Payee     Transaction Date     Amount
ZEKE STOKES LLC    2/18/09    $5,400.00
ZEKE STOKES LLC    3/2/09    $2,470.00
WILSON LANGUAGE TRAINING    3/2/09    $3,800.00
WILLIAM J LYDAY    2/18/09    $950.00
WESLEY CONSULTING INC    2/19/09    $2,275.00
WENDY H BARTELL    2/19/09    $500.00
VT ENTERPRISES LLC    2/24/09    $1,750.00
VICKY T EARLE    2/10/09    $650.00
VICKY T EARLE    2/13/09    $650.00
VALERIE WAITES    2/13/09    $650.00
TRINA S RANDLE    2/11/09    $381.00
TRAYSIE AMICK    2/9/09    $1,300.00
TITUS DUREN LLC    2/18/09    $1,200.00
TITUS DUREN LLC    2/26/09    $1,160.00
TITUS DUREN LLC    2/11/09    $800.00
TITUS DUREN LLC    3/2/09    $760.00
THOMAS M FAULKENBERRY    2/26/09    $1,050.00
THOMAS E TRUITT    2/18/09    $1,050.00
THOMAS A SPARKS    2/18/09    $950.00
THE RACKES GROUP LLC    2/18/09    $4,292.00
TERRY L ATKINS    3/2/09    $500.00
TEACHING STRATEGIES INC    2/13/09    $6,675.00
TAMMIE JACKSON    2/24/09    $450.00
TACHA LYNETTE MCCRAY    2/17/09    $500.00
SYLVIA BERRY    2/18/09    $1,050.00
SWANSON EDITORIAL INC    2/18/09    $4,470.00
SUSAN S MCHUGH    2/19/09    $1,400.00
SUE J HINES    2/13/09    $1,650.00
STEPHANIE FELDER HILLARD    2/20/09    $100.00
SHERRILL HALL JACO    2/19/09    $2,100.00
SHERRILL HALL JACO    2/20/09    $700.00
SANITA SAVAGE    3/2/09    $1,925.00
SANDIE J ELLIS    2/13/09    $1,600.00
SANDIE J ELLIS    2/6/09    $1,200.00
SANDIE J ELLIS    2/26/09    $400.00
SAMUEL W MYERS    2/18/09    $1,050.00
RWT CONSULTING INC    2/24/09    $2,100.00
ROSEMARY B ENGLISH    2/10/09    $350.00
ROSA AND DUANE CONSULTING    2/19/09    $2,100.00
RONALD D MILES    3/2/09    $3,000.00
RONALD D MILES    2/20/09    $1,000.00
RODNEY KELLY    2/11/09    $12,000.00
ROBERTA Q WIDER    2/24/09    $2,100.00
ROBERT W TROWELL    2/11/09    $650.00
RITA B SMITH    2/19/09    $2,100.00
RICHLAND CNTY SCH DIST 1    2/10/09    $750.00
RICHARD S THOMPSON    2/10/09    $1,213.20
RHONDA CORLEY    2/25/09    $2,800.00
REX H WHITCOMB    2/19/09    $1,400.00
RENEE B SILVER    2/18/09    $2,000.00
RACHEL J WILLIAMS    2/19/09    $2,100.00
PWS EDUCATIONAL CONSULTING    2/20/09    $3,678.00
PWS EDUCATIONAL CONSULTING    2/10/09    $3,180.00
PROJECT MANAGEMENT GROUP    2/18/09    $2,000.00
PHILIP DUNNE FLYNN III    2/24/09    $1,400.00
PATRICIA M CHRISLEY    2/19/09    $2,100.00
PATRICIA HENDRICKSON    2/19/09    $1,200.00
PATRICIA A KARABEES    2/11/09    $500.00
PATRICE VICTORIA HEWETT    2/13/09    $650.00
PASS ASSURED  LLC    2/6/09    $6,000.00
PARENTS AS TEACHERS NAT CT    2/12/09    $1,590.00
PAMELA J MIMS    2/20/09    $2,000.00
PACKETT COMMUNICATIONS CRP    2/18/09    $4,300.00
OTIS J FREEMAN JR    2/13/09    $2,800.00
NICK MILASNOVICH    2/6/09    $1,500.00
NEWTON JAMES & ASSOC LLC    2/11/09    $3,600.00
NATIONAL CENTER FOR    2/25/09    $4,590.00
NANCY LIND    2/18/09    $500.00
NANCY FORD    2/13/09    $1,400.00
NANCY E BURCHINS    2/18/09    $2,400.00
MONICA OWENS-CARTER    2/24/09    $500.00
MELANIE RHOAD ALLISON    2/19/09    $1,750.00
MAX T JAMISON    2/6/09    $3,000.00
MARY M HUGGINS    2/24/09    $1,400.00
MARTHENA GRATE MORANT    2/20/09    $1,050.00
MARK D DAVIDSON    2/10/09    $650.00
MARILYN F WARD    2/18/09    $950.00
MARGARET B WALDEN    2/11/09    $200.00
MARCELLINA FUGATE-GUINYARD    2/13/09    $650.00
MAL HYMAN    2/27/09    $2,525.00
LOVA JEAN BULLMAN    2/9/09    $1,800.00
LOVA JEAN BULLMAN    3/2/09    $450.00
LITERACY FOR ALL    2/18/09    $700.00
LISA MICHELLE MOTLEY PACE    3/2/09    $500.00
LINDA P HAWKINS    2/24/09    $1,400.00
LINDA FAKOURY MOBLEY    2/20/09    $650.00
LINDA ELIZABETH HAINS    2/20/09    $3,900.00
LINDA ELIZABETH HAINS    2/9/09    $3,575.00
LILLIE G LEWIS    2/20/09    $700.00
LEIGH M ZALEON    2/11/09    $5,525.00
LEE SANDERS HARMON APPRAIS    2/12/09    $700.00
LEE SANDERS HARMON APPRAIS    2/13/09    $700.00
LEE DANNY SHAW    2/24/09    $1,050.00
LEE DANNY SHAW    2/24/09    $700.00
LECKYLER V GAILLARD    2/24/09    $700.00
LEAP CONSULTING LLC    2/18/09    $7,700.00
LEANN IACUONE    2/18/09    $650.00
LC STEPHENS INC    2/24/09    $1,400.00
LAUREN L HARRISON    2/18/09    $200.00
LAURA W GARNER    2/18/09    $500.00
LARRY DICENZO    2/18/09    $200.00
KIMBERLY R TAYLOR    2/18/09    $200.00
KELLI SANDERS    2/20/09    $200.00
KELLI SANDERS    3/2/09    $200.00
KELLEY SUMNER    2/20/09    $200.00
KAY H GOSSETT    2/19/09    $2,450.00
KAY GOODING    2/24/09    $2,100.00
KATHLEEN NEWSOME    2/18/09    $1,400.00
JUNE GIDEON MULLEN EDUC    2/20/09    $2,100.00
JULIE S VON FRANK    2/26/09    $1,140.00
JULIE S VON FRANK    2/11/09    $800.00
JULIE S VON FRANK    3/2/09    $760.00
JULIA MARKLEY    2/18/09    $200.00
JUDITH B MERRICK    2/10/09    $650.00
JOYCE M DAVIS    2/19/09    $1,400.00
JOY WALKER    3/3/09    $500.00
JOHN RAFFAELLE    2/13/09    $2,800.00
JOANNE W BRADY    2/19/09    $500.00
JENNY H ELLIOTT    2/19/09    $2,800.00
JAY P LUTZ    2/20/09    $700.00
JANET ELLEN MIDDLETON    2/12/09    $2,700.00
JANE W FARRELL    2/26/09    $2,991.25
JANE PULLING    2/26/09    $2,100.00
JANE EMBLER    2/19/09    $3,150.00
JAMES WRIGHT    2/20/09    $2,800.00
JAMES W JORDAN    2/20/09    $1,650.00
JAMES P RAMSEY    2/20/09    $2,100.00
JAMES E WRIGHT    3/2/09    $1,925.00
JACQULYN P BROWN    2/19/09    $2,100.00
JACKIE G CLARKSON    2/6/09    $5,000.00
INGRID M WATSON    2/18/09    $1,050.00
INDIRA D CURETON-CUMMINGS    2/10/09    $300.00
HENRIETTA GREEN    2/26/09    $2,000.00
HELEN S JONES    2/11/09    $1,925.00
HAROLD MCCLAIN    2/18/09    $2,800.00
HAL HOWINGTON    2/24/09    $2,100.00
GRAHAM WOOD    3/2/09    $2,450.00
GAYLE MELTON HINTON    2/25/09    $500.00
GARCIA S BYRD    2/24/09    $1,050.00
GAIL C SIMMONS    2/19/09    $700.00
FRANCIS R SARRATT    2/24/09    $2,450.00
FRANCINE W KNOTTS    2/18/09    $2,100.00
FRANCES ANNE J MACE    2/9/09    $1,000.00
FITZMAURICE INTERPRETING    2/12/09    $5,500.00
FITZMAURICE INTERPRETING    2/24/09    $5,500.00
FELICIA OLIVER    2/6/09    $400.00
FELICIA OLIVER    2/24/09    $200.00
EVELYN SMITH    2/9/09    $1,200.00
EVELYN SMITH    2/10/09    $800.00
EVELYN SMITH    2/24/09    $400.00
ERICA BISSELL    2/11/09    $500.00
ELIZABETH I DROPPLEMAN    2/18/09    $600.00
EDUCATORS EDGE    2/11/09    $2,100.00
EDUCATION BUILDERS    2/18/09    $9,562.50
EDNA MARIE ROSBOROUGH    2/18/09    $2,100.00
EARL N CHOICE    2/19/09    $1,650.00
EARL N CHOICE    2/6/09    $475.00
DOROTHY M EDWARDS    2/18/09    $500.00
DOROTHY M DAVIS    2/24/09    $1,350.00
DOCIA JONES    2/20/09    $1,400.00
DILLARD SAMUEL COOK JR    2/24/09    $1,400.00
DIANNE HILL ANDERSON    2/20/09    $2,100.00
DENNIS THOMPSON JR    2/13/09    $2,400.00
DEMETRA VASTIS    2/26/09    $625.00
DELORIS M HAMILTON    2/18/09    $200.00
DEBRA BARRON    2/6/09    $400.00
DEBRA BARRON    2/20/09    $200.00
CYNTHIA K HAYES    2/18/09    $1,050.00
CYNTHIA A DRAKEFORD    2/20/09    $1,750.00
CONNIE TOWNSEND    2/24/09    $1,850.00
CONNIE SEARS    2/10/09    $650.00
CONNIE M COATS    2/10/09    $200.00
CONNIE M COATS    2/20/09    $200.00
CLASSROOM EDUCATION SVCS    3/2/09    $1,400.00
CINDY LUE MARTIN    2/19/09    $4,000.00
CHRISTINE B SANDERS    3/2/09    $2,450.00
CHRISTI NICHOLE SCHRADER    2/24/09    $3,000.00
CHRISTI NICHOLE SCHRADER    2/11/09    $1,000.00
CHERYL KNIGHT    2/6/09    $500.00
CHERYL ALLREAD    2/20/09    $2,100.00
CECILIA L BOLES    2/26/09    $650.00
CECIL L MCCLARY    2/18/09    $1,050.00
CATHERINE ROBINSON    2/10/09    $200.00
CATHERINE ROBINSON    2/20/09    $200.00
CAROL SUNDERMAN    2/9/09    $2,100.00
CAROL SUNDERMAN    2/20/09    $1,400.00
CAROL MCALPIN    2/18/09    $200.00
BROOKS MOORE    2/6/09    $2,000.00
BROOKS MOORE    2/13/09    $1,200.00
BROOKS MOORE    2/20/09    $1,200.00
BROOKS MOORE    2/26/09    $400.00
BROOKS GROUP    2/20/09    $3,200.00
BRIAN S MORSE    2/9/09    $200.00
BRENDA L LYLES    2/19/09    $600.00
BOBBIE KELLY    2/20/09    $2,100.00
BILLIE A SOUTHARD CHEGIN    2/26/09    $1,500.00
BHUVANA PARAMESWARAN    2/24/09    $650.00
BENNIE BROWN    2/26/09    $1,920.00
BENNIE BROWN    2/6/09    $1,600.00
BENNIE BROWN    2/10/09    $1,600.00
BENNIE BROWN    2/18/09    $1,600.00
BARBARA C SMITH    2/18/09    $1,400.00
ANTHONY M LEMON    2/18/09    $1,400.00
ANNETTE SAUSSER    2/24/09    $1,050.00
ANNETTE SAUSSER    2/24/09    $700.00
ANNE G SBROCCHI    2/17/09    $700.00
ANGELA D BARDIN    2/11/09    $500.00
ANGELA BAIN CONSULTING    2/6/09    $2,100.00
ANDREA F GARRISON    2/12/09    $2,450.00
ALPHA & OMEGA EDUC SVC LLC    2/11/09    $2,800.00
ALPHA & OMEGA EDUC SVC LLC    3/2/09    $1,140.00
ALPHA & OMEGA EDUC SVC LLC    2/26/09    $400.00
ALPHA & OMEGA EDUC SVC    2/20/09    $1,200.00
ALLANA PROSSER    2/9/09    $500.00
ALISON LEIGH WHISENANT    3/3/09    $500.00
21ST CENTURY GRANTS    2/9/09    $1,000.00

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23 responses to “Who Are These People, Why Are We Paying Them?

  1. I recognize the first one: “ZEKE STOKES LLC ” is the poltical consultant for Jim Rex.
    I wonder if that is right/legal that he is being paid with public funds?

  2. Who is Alpha and Omega Educational Services? That’s over 5 grand for one month. I tried to look them up, but I can’t find them anywhere.

  3. New to town

    This list is terrible!! Check out this entry:

    NATIONAL CENTER FOR 2/25/09 $4,590.00

    Uhhh… $4,590 for one month and we can’t even see what the full company name is??

    Transparency.

  4. Alpha & Omega Education Services is a publisher of home schooling material.

  5. Calhoun Fawls

    What? You mean the evil Mr. Rex is paying out money to those who help people home school their children? I get it now. Jim Rex giving a few grand to help home schoolers is a waste. Giving hundreds of thousands for tax credit handouts is good government. I offer this. Let Viewpolitik, LLC, SCRG, and the Club for Growth list out their donors and clients and who funds them. Fair is fair, right, fellas?

    Then, with these numbers from Rex in hand with those numbers, we can truly know who owns South Carolina. It sure is hell ain’t the average guy.

    What we have here is one paid off group of rascals telling us that the other groups are bought and paid for too. And, that is what passes as conservative in SC these days.

  6. Jackie G. Clawson…………..$5,000
    who is that?

  7. re: “Alpha & Omega Education Services is a publisher of home schooling material.”

    We suspect some of those LLCs payments went to lawyers. Why?

    Because Alpha & Omega Education Services is a “Christian publishing company which proudly provides quality, Bible-based curricula for students in Preschool through 12th Grade.”

    Why the Rex Review? Presumably so the schooling material can be found deficient in statutory aspects.

    Can we expect Rex and the next SC Governor to sponsor state litigation against homeschooling?

    Well, if I were a betting person …

  8. I fail to see, without some actual investigative work on your part, the point of getting all hot about this. You ask ‘Who are these people?’. Well, for the most part they’re all in your post and I’m sure could easily be ‘found’. You could even start with their names.

    You also seem to assume that since it was paid in February, that it was for work done in one month, as opposed to the fact that they are likely payments for work done over months, or a year. Do you have numbers for other months? Was this gotten through a FOIA? Did you just get one month?

    And also, $350k sounds like a lot, and it might be, and you’re right we don’t know necessarily what is was for, but making baseless analogies (e.g. ‘toilet fixtures’) without knowing any facts is not helpful. It’s easy to just cut, paste, post but if you came with some actual information you’d be much more persuasive.

    And as to the money, if $350k is too much, what is not too much? Zero? Should the state not work with consultants? Would you encourage the private sector not to deal with government?

    Don’t think I’m just siding with the government here, I’m all for transparency, but you need to come with more than OMG $350k.

    Btw, I posted this earlier, perhaps it didn’t go through? Sorry if this comment goes through twice.

  9. if you can identify who these groups are, then please do… the point is that information about them is not readily available…

  10. Calhoun Fawls, gee, private philantrophy versus my public tax dollars being wasted on crappy schools, leading to a crappy economy in SC, needing more tax dollars. God bless ANYONE who is really committed to making it easier for good parents to educate their children, too bad that no-solution people like you keep changing the topic when we talk about reform

  11. I’m sorry, you are are the one who posted this. It seems the onus is on you to do the research. Again, most of that list contains people’s names. Perhaps that would be a good place to start. And do you have numbers for other months?

  12. This list got pulled from the comptroller-general’s website. You can easily go look up similar lists from other months, and other categories. It seemed pretty straight forward when I read it. “Here is a list of expenses, maybe they are necessary, maybe not, but in this economy we have a lot of room to cut costs before teachers take the hit.” I never saw where it claimed to be some kind of in-depth investigation. You don’t get it, so you’re barking up the wrong tree.

  13. No, I get it. I was trying to point out the absurdity of asking ‘Who are these people?’, when their names are right there. You guys just want to shout, “look at the waste” and hint that something might be wasteful without actually doing anything to actually find out.

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  16. Bhuvana Parameswaran

    During a regular search by my daughter, she noticed my name on your list. As stated in some of the other comments, I think it is important that you do research about these people to find out why they were paid money. I was paid to set up the Biology standards guide for high school similar to one seen in many other states. S.C. does not have one and there is no standardized high school Biology guide. I noticed names of other teachers in your list. This amount was paid for work being done throughout the year. The amount of work involved is much more than the money and we are doing it so that every child in S.C can benefit. I think you owe all these teachers an apology as they take time out of their regular schedule to meet in Columbia to set this up. When you publish a list like the one you have on your blog, please make sure you find out about the services for which they were paid

  17. Putting aside the possible merits of what you did for the money, the shamefull financial track record of a public school system with a 55.6% on-time graduation rate, and even the vague in which way this type of spending is disclosed by the department, the issue at hand is that spending on consultants and contractors is rising every month at a time when classroom teachers are losing jobs and the state superintendent insists that all non-instructional spending has been cut “past” the bone.
    As for (your words) …”doing it so that every child in S.C can benefit” – it is unclear how the 70,000+ children enrolled in failing public schools are benefiting from tens of millions of dollars in department spending on contracts and consultants, including money directly to partisan political strategists.

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  23. Some of these people are members of an organization called Palmetto Priority Schools Liaisons, or PPSL. These liaisons work in high-poverty schools to help improve them in any way possible. But, this only explains some of the spending, some of it is still outrageous. To be completely fair, it is not like Republicans don’t have excess spending. Both sides believe that their spending is justified, and the other side’s spending is equally as unjustified.

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