Author Archives: thevoiceforschoolchoice

UPDATE YOUR RSS: Voice for School Choice is Moving!

Voice For School Choice Update

The Voice” is moving to a new domain.

The new site is www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

Note that we have removed the article “the” from the URL.

Please update your favorites, bookmarks, and RSS feeds.

Links on and off site will be mirrored at the new page.

Both theVoiceforSchoolChoice.com and .wordpress.com will soon redirect to www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

UPDATE YOUR LINKS: Voice for School Choice is Moving!

Voice for School Choice Update 2

The Voice” is moving to a new domain.

The new site is www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

Note that we have removed the article “the” from the URL.

Please update your favorites, bookmarks, and RSS feeds.

Links on and off site will be mirrored at the new page.

Both theVoiceforSchoolChoice.com and .wordpress.com will soon redirect to www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

SITE UPDATE: Voice for School Choice is Moving!

Update Voice for School Choice 1

The Voice” is moving to a new domain.

The new site is www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

Note that we have removed the article “the” from the URL.

Please update your favorites, bookmarks, and RSS feeds.

Links on and off site will be mirrored at the new page.

Both theVoiceforSchoolChoice.com and .wordpress.com will soon redirect to www.VoiceForSchoolChoice.com

Public School Achievement Gap in South Carolina

Jim Rex Bridge Achievement Gap

The “Achievement Gap” is a name used to describe the persistent and unjust disparity between test scores among different  racial and economic groups enrolled in South Carolina’s government schools.

New data have been released, and some are hoping it constitutes a reversal of this troubling long term trend.

The political publicists at the State Department of Education spun it this way:

South Carolina’s “achievement gap” between white and African-American students mirrors the rest of the nation’s, according to a federal government report released today.  Although mathematics and reading test scores have improved for both ethnic groups, the gap between the two has decreased only in math.

But looking past the soundbites, the data do not seem to mesh with other, independently gauged, indicators. Continue reading

Frustration with Lexington-Richland 5

Lexington Richland District Five

“Not to worry, it’s not real money, it’s public money!”

A letter to the editor of the State Newspaper.

“District 5 has problem with openness”

“I read with interest school board chairman Robert Gantt’s op-ed (“Community supports District 5 building plan,” June 24) in which he said Lexington-Richland 5 made enrollment information available to voters before the referendum.

“For more than a year, the district told us enrollment was growing fast. At one point, the administration told us growth would be between 300-800 students annually. That’s growth you can look around and see, and because many residents looked around and didn’t see it, we questioned their figures.

“When this past year’s student enrollment count came out, a group of residents wrote the superintendent requesting the information. On Oct. 17, several residents filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which asked the district for the enrollment. Not a hard question, right? Continue reading

2009 SC Legislative Wrap-up (BUDGET & SPENDING)

South Carolina Expectation Advisory

In December and January the Voice posted summaries of legislation introduced in the South Carolina State Legislature.

Here, seven months later, is an overview of the status of those and other bills relating to the budget and state spending practices.

(Also look for upcoming reviews of K-12 Education bills, Charter School bills, and Tax bills):

S. 2 Remove and replace state spending cap

This legislation revises this limit by imposing an annual limit on the appropriation of state general fund revenues by adjusting such revenues by a rolling ten-year average in annual changes in general fund revenues and the creation of a separate budget stabilization fund in the state treasury to which must be credited all general fund revenues in excess of the annual limit. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 72 State agencies and institutions justify dollars from any source

This legislation provides that all state agencies, departments, colleges, universities, institutions, and entities shall report to the general assembly and to the governor on January 15th and July 15th of each year the justification of the dollars from any source that are received by them, and how these dollars are used to provide services to the citizens of the state, and to provide for the administration of and exceptions to this provision. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 130 Requires budget to have narrative

This legislation requires the Governor’s annual budget recommendation and the reports of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on the annual General Appropriations Act to be in a programmatic format by providing a narrative description of each separate program administered by a state agency and providing the elements that must be included in the narrative. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action. Continue reading

Anderson District 1 Smoke And Mirrors Budget

Superintendent Wayne Fowler Anderson District One

This coming 2009-10 school year, public schools in Anderson County District One are slated to receive funding of $8,194 per child.

Of that sum, $4,053 comes from state government, $656 from the federal government, and $3,485 is locally raised.

Based on those figures (published by the SC Legislature), and with a student population of 9,168, the district’s total budget should be $75 million.

But members of the Board of Trustees recently told the Powdersville Post, Anderson Independent Mail, and Greenville News the figure is only $54.2 million (or $5,911 per student).

The same Board Trustees also raised personal property taxes on secondary homes, rental properties, vehicles and businesses from a millage of 112 to 118.9. Only one trustee, Wendy Tucker, fought against the hike.

So why the $54.2 million figure? Where is the other $21 million?

Continue reading