South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation public schools are home to a 47 percent high school graduation rate, a 49th place average SAT score, and growing performance gaps between racial and income groups. This despite a whopping $11,480 per child in spending (among the nation’s highest when adjusted for state income).
Rather than working to remedy the tragic situation, the politically-connected teachers’ union (South Carolina Education Association or “SCEA”) is determined to stall any legislative attempt at reforming public education – especially school choice.
Toward that end, SCEA recently made $7,000 in bribes campaign contributions to Columbia lawmakers, split equally among the two political parties. The $3,500 donations of soft money to both the Senate Republican and Senate Democratic Caucuses will help incumbent senators fight off attacks from reform-minded challengers. The Caucuses can use the cash to compliment their members’ reelection spending, without the money being calculated as a direct individual donations to the candidate.
Why a public sector union, comprised of school teachers and financed in part through taxdollars, would spend $7,000 in member’s dues to protect seated Senators (without regard to their political party) begs the question: what is the SCEA looking to accomplish in next year’s legislative session?