“I think that might be seen in South Carolina as defensible.”
From the time that cuts to the state budget were first considered a necessity, Jim Rex has opposed any actions that would take money from the public education establishment. Despite the fact that South Carolinians in every income bracket are struggling to deal with a negative economic climate, Rex has continued to put on an aggrieved air, and acted as if education bureaucrats are bearing the entire weight of the state’s economic woes.
Despite frequent references to the empty coffers of the State Department of Education, Rex has been awkwardly called out by numerous media outlets for paying out large sums of money to personal political advisers and consultants. More recently, questions about administrative spending on a South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) retreat were blown off by Rex, who claimed that the excessive costs of the so-called “Leadership Conference” were “justified.”
Following the lead of the state’s top education official, several school districts have claimed to be penniless, and even jumped to fire teachers and raise taxes on already burdened taxpayers. Investigation revealed that many of the same districts eager to raise taxes were sitting on stockpiles of millions and millions of taxpayer funds (even as teachers’ jobs were being cut)!
Considering this type of behavior, it should be no surprise that Rex thinks the state should pour more money into the education bureaucracy by eliminating the $300 state sales tax cap on cars, boats and planes.
Taxpayers should ask themselves this question: “What is wrong with Jim Rex?”
After all, public schools in South Carolina will be spending a shocking $11,242 per child, for each and every child seated in their classrooms this year.
At a time when people and businesses are struggling financially, and unemployment rates have climbed frighteningly high, a state constitutional officer thinks that dramatically increasing fees and taxes is worth considering. Instead of paying 5 percent of a vehicle’s sale price with a $300 maximum payment, Rex wants you to pay out a full 5 percent. Even without the addition on any local sales tax, this additional expense could be more than many South Carolinians can afford.
The knowledge that Rex is willing to consider an option this harmful should make South Carolinians extremely wary of his possible gubernatorial bid.
Instead of looking for a way to burden the already-burdened, Rex should consider employing the private sector tactic of ” prioritization and assessment” in his administration’s spending practices. The sad fact is that districts do have money, but in many cases too much is dedicated to peripheral, non-instructional functions.
Right now, everything possible needs to be done to relieve taxpayers, and facilitate a lean, efficiently-run education system. Both of these key needs can be met by the implementation of a comprehensive school choice program. Through tuition tax credits, parents and families can experience some financial relief, while at the same time knowing that the money is going directly to the classroom where they want their child to be.