Classroom teachers struggle as “Educator” elites indulge in a publicly-funded pampering.
This has been a rough year for classroom teachers in South Carolina’s public schools.
The 2008-09 school year began with over $11,480.00 in per student appropriations but teachers saw just pennies on those dollars. According the South Carolina’s Budget and Control Board, only 44 cents per public dollar was actually slated to reach the classroom in the form of “instructional spending.” The rest went for spending on items as varied as private golf course memberships to questionable out-of-state travel reimbursements for so-called Educational Leaders (or “Educrats“).
Then a downturn in tax revenue collections began to chip away at the state portion of that public school funding. Continue reading
For months now, Spartanburg taxpayers have been royally outraged at the deceit and mismanagement displayed by disgraced Spartanburg District 7 figurehead, Superintendent Thomas White.
Somehow sensing that diverting education- designated dollars to a country club during a recession was a guaranteed ticket to taxpayer outrage, Superintendent White tried to rectify the situation… by doing it in secret.
This from The Herald Journal-
“District leaders still act as if there was nothing wrong with their decision earlier this year to give $325,000 of taxpayers’ money to a private country club to which three board members and the superintendent belong. They act as if there was no problem in discussing this plan behind closed doors, adding it to their agenda at the last minute, and basically doing what they could to keep the deal hidden… It wants its constituents to believe that there was nothing wrong with the deal or the secrecy in which it was made, that only a few troublesome individuals questioned it.
It’s nonsense, and the people know it. District leaders continue to erode public trust and confidence as they try to twist the perception of this issue.”
When parents have access to a wide variety of educational options, public schools are forced to be more attentive to the needs of families.
If every parent is empowered to take their child out of a public school that does not provide adequate programs or instruction, then public schools are forced to innovate and improve.
Parents with real choices put the focus of education exactly where it should be: on the students, not the system.
This pressure to improve is being demonstrated in an unlikely place: Spartanburg District 7.
In fact, even the possibility of comprehensive school choice options being given to parents has prompted Spartanburg 7 to promote greater “choice” within the district.
In a variety of published articles and public commentaries, Thomas White- Spartanburg 7 superintendent and free golf enthusiast- has been outspoken in his criticism of comprehensive choice options for families in South Carolina. Continue reading
South Carolina’s favorite anti-School Choice zealot, Superintendent Thomas White of Spartanburg District 7, is back with more of his “zany” taxpayer-funded antics.
Among other recent White highlights endured by the scandal-weary parents and taxpayers in Spartanburg:
Superintendent White publicly argued for “honkering down and protecting the classroom” and “accepting responsibility” as parents demanded his “immediate resignation” for White’s allocation of $200,000 in school money to a private golf club he is a member of.
Superintendent White and his lawyers defended themselves against accusations that the golf course payout was illegal by insisting parent and taxpayers’ opinions do not make his decisions “right, wrong or indifferent.”
Superintendent responded to concerns about the three persistently failing schools in his district by insisting that choices about the education ought to be in the hands of education bureaucrats rather than parents.
Superintendent White used his new high-dollar district logo to advertise grassroots Astroturf meetings about public school choice limited public school transfers.
Posted in POLICY
Tagged Cost Efficiency, News and Views, Public Transfer, Spartanburg 7, Spartanburg 7 Golf Course, Spartanburg District 7, Spartanburg Herald Journal, Spartanburg Public S, spin, Superint, Superintendent Thomas White, Superintendent White, Thomas White
Thomas White, Superintendent of Spartanburg School District 7 is a self-described ambassador of South Carolina’s public school system.
As an outspoken member of the Association of School Administrators (SCASA), Thomas White has used public money to fight against efforts to reform public schools in South Carolina. Continue reading
Parents, teachers and students across Spartanburg are not willing to look the other way on the District 7 school board’s recent decision to unload over $250,000 of district funds on an exclusive country club’s golf facilities. In addition to Spartanburg residents packing out a recent school board meeting ( video here), letters expressing outrage and disappointment have appeared over and over in the local paper calling for the district to back out of the decision.
Even in the face of widespread opposition by the people whose taxes pay his salary, Superintendent Thomas White has obstinately protested that the district’s actions were warranted and necessary. Families want to know: how can bureaucrats cram such unwise and unpopular measures down the throats of angry taxpayers?
Unfortunately, South Carolina continues to employ an unwieldy, one-size-fits-all public education system that puts ultimate control in the hands of bureaucrats, not parents. Because of this system, state employees like White feel totally comfortable trying to censor what parents think about how their own child should be educated, and can even openly oppose efforts that would grant educational choices free of bureaucratic oversight. Talk about a conflict of interest. Continue reading
In a recent opinion column, Superintendent Thomas White of Spartanburg District 7 made his position very clear: he is very smart and deserves to make choices about where his children attend school. You on the other hand, the parents and taxpayers of South Carolina, aren’t as bright and don’t deserve the same for your family.
Nevermind that White is a public servant, chosen by democratically elected officials.
Nevermind that White puts bread on his table through a government salary, financed by your hard earned tax-dollars.
And nevermind that as a public school administrator White’s job is merely to implement and orchestrate public policies, not to use his public position to advocate or author them.
No, White is still smug enough to waste ink on the pages of the Spartanburg Herald Journal belittling the grassroots advocacy of low- and middle-income families who want to enjoy the same privileges that wealthy families already have: equal access to a wide range of effective classrooms for their children. Continue reading