Regular readers know that South Carolina’s public education bureaucrats spare the taxpayers no expense when it comes to putting themselves up in plush hotels, downloading ringtones, and illegally campaigning with public money.
Voice for School Choice readers also know that despite the education establishment’s mad rush to spend other people’s money on “education,”public schools in South Carolina have only about 44 cents of every dollar going in to the classroom.
According to this article from The Greenville News, a forthcoming two percent budget cut may end up forcing the SC Dept of Education to live within its means like everyone else.
Of course Department of Education Spin Master Jim Foster was on hand to demonstrate a stiff upper lip in the face of crippling disappointment
“The Education Department already has implemented a hiring freeze and cut travel plans and delayed some equipment purchases, spokesman Jim Foster said.”
Inside sources tell us that news of the proposed budget cut is causing widespread panic among SDE staffers.
An unnamed school district administrator had this to say-
“These cuts may necessitate that teachers start paying for school utility bills and bus fuel out of their own pockets. I and several other education leaders have called for an emergency administrator’s conference at Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach to talk about the injustice of these budget shortfalls.”
Another public school administrator shared his concerns-
“A freeze on travel plans? Does the Budget and Control Board have any idea of the impact of this kind of rash decision? How am I and my colleagues supposed to attend the annual Administrator’s Stress Management and Relaxation Seminar in San Francisco? This could very well be the end of education as we know it in South Carolina. I see only academic failure as the result of budget cuts.”
While education bureaucrats work out the logistics of how to work within a real budget, taxpayers can breathe a big sigh of relief knowing that the people who preside over the nation’s worst public schools have fewer tax dollars at their disposal.
More money in the hands of the State Department of Education will not do anything to increase South Carolina’s 50% drop out rate, raise low SAT and ACT scores, or wipe out the growing achievement gap between black and white students. Cutting out the redundancy and waste that is rampant in South Carolina’s 85 school districts would go a long way toward increasing the amount of money actually going in to the classroom and addressing critical expenses like bus fuel.
Another way to address these financial needs is by pressuring corrupt lawmakers to give up the millions of taxpayer dollars hidden away in the Competitive Grants slush fund. Ultimately, academic gains will only come when parents are empowered to choose the best school for their own child.