Tag Archives: consultants

Jim Rex Calls for Major Sales Tax Hike

Jim Rex South Carolina Tax Hike

“I think that might be seen in South Carolina as defensible.”

-Superintendent “Dropout Jim” Rex on lifting the sales tax cap on cars, planes and boats

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. Continue reading

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Department of Education gives Consultants $391,469 Stimulus Package

Molly Spearman SCASA

It’s that time again. The time when South Carolina taxpayers can see just how much money the “strapped” SC State Department of Education has paid out to education contractors and consultants during a recession.

This month, almost $400,000 was doled out to a variety of consultants, contractors and political advisers. Unfortunately, those aren’t the only people who got paid big bucks. Teachers may be on furlough, or without work, but SCASA managed to somehow squeeze $29,000 from taxpayers. Were some of these other payments made to folks who had booths set up at the recent SCASA oceanside retreat? Rex’s frequent excuse that contractors are brought in to “save the department money” certainly doesn’t hold water in this instance.

Here is a recap of consultant spending in 2009.

  • January-$296,526
  • February-$358,398
  • March-$366,996
  • April-$397,876
  • May-$333,791
  • June-$391,469
  • Year to Date$2,145,056

Here is a complete list of contractors and consultants who received checks from the Department of Education in June 2009. See it for yourself here.

Continue reading

Department of Education Spends $333,791 on Consultants in May

Jim Rex

“Of course everyone gets a fair deal!”

The month of May came, went, and left behind a $333,791.00 tab in consultant and contractor fees for the taxpayers of South Carolina, courtesy of the Department of Education.

Thankfully this is a decrease from April, when Rex’s department spent almost $400, ooo on non-state employee “education and training services.”

Despite a steady stream of complaints from administrators about how budget cuts are forcing the Department of Education to do its work on a “bare bones” budget, the bureaucracy has managed to find enough money to continue paying out political consultants and contractors. Teachers have been cut, but spending has been maintained for former employees of political campaigns.

  • January-$296,526
  • February-$358,398
  • March-$366,996
  • April-$397,876
  • May-$333,791
  • YEAR-TO-DATE: $1.7 million to consultants and contractors

Continue reading

Department of Education Increases Spending on Consultants (again)

RexAirlift

Parents and teachers will be gratified to know that consultants and contractors are still getting their fair share of the SC Department of Education’s spending.

In fact, the $397,876 spent on”Non-State Education and Training Services” in April was a significant increase from previous months!

Even economic stress and uncertainty did not keep the SC Department of Education from spending $30,000 more on consultants  in April  than was spent in March, and $39,000 more than was spent in February! Continue reading

Who Are These People, Why Are We STILL Paying Them

south-carolina-education-consultants

Consulting: why fix a broken school system when you can profit from its failures?

The economic forecast is still calling for rain, and public education officials have not been shy about the need for more money.

Despite gloomy predictions about massive cuts cutting out classroom teachers, State Superintendent Rex has been placed in the awkward position of explaining large amounts of spending on education “consultants” and contractors.

Especially uncomfortable was Rex’s attempt to portray payments to former campaign manager Zeke Stokes- and various other holdovers from Inez Tenenbaum’s administration- as vital expenses for improving education in South Carolina. Continue reading

Who Are These People, Why Are We Paying Them?

check

Across the state, school district administrators are trying to determine how to deal with state budget cuts. Jim Rex, and other education officials, have declared public education spending to be in desperate straits, but have yet to get desperate enough to start really cutting off extraneous expenses.

Every month, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on “Non-State Education and Training Services.” As The Voice has pointed out before, this category of expenditures can be more accurately described as “Consultants and Contractors.”

In February of 2009, the State Department of Education spent $358,398 on non-state consultants and contractors. Going through a list of the expenses reveals little but the name of the company receiving the money, and the amount of the check. For all the taxpayers know, these people could have all been paid to consult on toilet fixtures at the Rutledge Building.

Some people (mainly the contractors) might protest that these are very necessary costs, incurred in the carrying out of actual instruction. Maybe, but how are taxpayers supposed to ever discover the real nature of these expenses?

If parents are being warned that classroom instruction could be harmed by budget cuts, then they have a right to know why this much money is being spent, and exactly what it is being spent on. If teachers are being told that they could lose their jobs in local classrooms, then they have every right to know what the money that could be paying their salary is being spent on. Continue reading

SC Schools still a cash cow for consultants

consultant

In December of 2008, the State Department of Education was well aware that budget cuts would be affecting public schools across the state. Teachers and other district employees feared for their jobs, while bean counters worried that money might be too tight to even put fuel in school buses.

Even during this time of uncertainty and restricted funding, consultants were confident that fat government contracts would keep rolling in.
According to the State Comptroller General’s “Spending Transparency” site, the SC Department of Education paid out-

•    $130,500 to Insite, LLC: a “highly accomplished woman-owned assessment company, providing test development, training, and data-collection services.”
•    $211,850 to TAPFIN Process Solutions: “With a focus on human capital management, TAPFIN deploys successful solutions delivered with our commitment to people, process and technology.
•    $17,732 to Educational Resources Group: “ERG is your best resource for consultants who provide professional development services to teachers, administrators, and classroom support personnel.”
•    $37,200 to South Carolina Association of School Administrators: tax funded lobbyists
•    $15,000 to Education Builders
•    $14,695 to The Assignment Agency
•    $11,755.52 to Malachied Inc. Continue reading