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.
White has told parents in his district they ought not be able to make real choices about where their children attend school. He condescended to families and taxpayers in his District, suggesting that his judgment about school policies should trump the decision making of individual parents when it comes to money following the child.
In addition to politicizing education in Spartanburg, White has also betrayed the taxpayers’ trust in regard to the use of their tax dollars. White has worked behind closed doors with school board members to allocate $200,000.00 each year to an elite private golf course, of which he was personally a member. Even in the face of widespread opposition by the people whose taxes pay his $150,000.00 salary, Superintendent Thomas White obstinately protested that the district’s actions were warranted and necessary.
Now there is new evidence indicating that White has actually used public money to advance his anti-parent choice political agenda through lavish spending on marketing ploys. The Spartanburg Herald Journal reports:
A new logo, banners, signage, events, publications – all jobs school District 7 has been sending to an outside marketing firm for about a year now.
Questions about the district’s marketing budget were raised during the public comments portion of a school board meeting last week, in particular the amount of money devoted to it.
District 7 signed a contract with Spartanburg-based marketing firm Launch Something in August, though the district began turning to the company for various projects starting around January last year.
According to Superintendent Thomas White, the district has paid about $275,000 to Launch since January 2008…
By wasting taxpayer money on a public relations campaign rather than focusing resources on student instruction, White has made his self-serving agenda clear.
Parents in Spartanburg and throughout South Carolina deserve better. They deserve a responsive and transparent public education system that provides each student with efficient and effective instruction. They deserve a system that responsibly oversees their public money in ways that maximize student achievement. Thomas White and members of the Spartanburg school district have clearly demonstrated that their one-size-fits-all government school monopoly can not provide this.