Rex has tripled number of $100K education dept employees

Jim Rex’s Columbia-based education bureaucracy continues to grow while classroom teachers worry about their jobs and parents worry about school bus fuel.

State Superintendent Jim Rex is working hard to insulate public schools from the across-the-board state budget cuts all other agencies are bracing for.

Rex has suggested that public schools are already so cash-strapped that a four-day school week should be adopted to save money for bus fuel. He has coyly insinuated that he would be forced to lay off classroom teachers unless state lawmakers safeguarded schools from the type of cuts being drafted for state roads, prisons, and other basic public safety and infrastructure needs. This despite per-student spending of more than $11,480 in public schools across the state.

Rex even contradicted his Department’s long-time opposition to local district budget autonomy so that local officials would take the political heat from choosing which programs to axe if funds are tight.

But the sad truth is that Jim Rex has spent the last two years on a massive spending spree.

Since Rex came to office, the Education Department has tripled the number of full time employees with salaries over $100,000.00!

According to the State Newspaper’s state employee salary database there are now sixteen “public educators” working for the Department at salaries in the six figures. Rex has also added another 65 full time employees earning above $50,000 since he took office.

Jim Rex has no credibility as a reformer or a steward of public money.

Not only has he argued for K-12 spending at the expense of public safety, he has attempted to use the budget debate as a political shield from criticisms of sinking test scores.

In fact, he recently suggested that budget cuts will require the schools to suspend the use of state mandated school and district accountability ratings. These are the “absolute” and “growth” rankings listed on school report cards to inform parents about the school’s instructional effectiveness.

Rex also worked hard to narrow the range of accountability standards when lawmakers replaced the PACT test last session. He even argued that public educators should eliminate all “absolute” ranking systems, and only report school performance in terms of relative performance growth, not in terms of anchored performance standards.

As State Superintendent, Jim Rex bears ultimate responsibility for ensuring all children in South Carolina have equal and ready access to effective instruction. His show-boating during the statewide budget crisis and his own record of exorbitant spending show he is not willing to properly bear it.

5 responses to “Rex has tripled number of $100K education dept employees

  1. Increasing the number of bureaucrats on the public teat has never done anything but waste money and help inefficiency prosper. The education system in South Carolina is a prime example of this. Any time someone steps up to say something about it, an “unbiased” bureaucrat shouts them down with talk of how great our schools are. Our kids are used as political cover for people with no accountability or motivation to improve.

  2. formerTeacher

    $100 grand to sit in the gorgeous Rutledge building and never see the stress of a classroom again? Sign me up!

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how these bureaucrats can find all kinds of ways to “cut costs” when it affects the children, classroom teachers, busses, etc. But it is unthinkable to cut out a few top dogs that would result in the same tax savings. I say make Jim Rex cut from the top not the bottom .

  4. Annie Nonomouse

    Time to cut Rex!

  5. Betsy Bootstrap

    He was elected – can he be impeached? Yeah, Impeach Rex! This is one education reform movement that even the teachers can get behind. Goes to prove that teachers are the most under-paid, under appreciated bunch in the SDE. Sounds like salary cuts in Columbia are in order.

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