Tag Archives: SCSBA

Paul Krohne of SCSBA is insulated

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“Schools protecting turf”

A letter to the Sun News editor by Robert G. Holland Sr. of Myrtle Beach.

Ever wonder why local school boards elected by the people pay dues to belong to their own statewide association?

The letter by Paul Krohne, executive director of the S.C. School Boards Association, shows why (“Truth comes out: Vouchers don’t help poor,” May 12). The objective is to insulate local boards from credible challenge and preserve the status quo in public education.

Krohne sneers about advocates of school choice failing during the recent hearings in Columbia to invoke the largely discredited argument that competition will improve public schooling in South Carolina. Huh? The truth is that when competition has been introduced elsewhere into K-12 education, it has raised student achievement and parental satisfaction.

Mainly Krohne turned the possibility of tax credits helping some private schools stay in business into a smear against all potential beneficiaries. Of course, the demise of a private sector would increase costs and class sizes in the public schools, but evidently that would be hunky-dory with those who believe the government schools have exclusive claim on parents’ pocketbooks and their children.

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Education Bureaucrats: YOUR money, OUR politics

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Q: Who is using public money and positions to fight parents calling for school choice?

A: Seven registered lobbyists and dozens of full-time staffers!

Real School Choice is wildly popular.

Parents in South Carolina know that every child is unique and the one-size-fits-all public schools are leaving thousands of students behind.

In recent weeks hundreds of parents have been advocating Choice at the statehouse; imploring lawmakers to consider expanding school choice options to K-12 education. Many who come to Columbia are surprised to see that high dollar lobbyists and publicists, paid with public money, are already working in the hallways of the Statehouse to fight the Choice legislation.

Even more offensive, some of these taxpayer subsidized politicos are claiming to speak for the parents and children in South Carolina.

Among those fighting to deny low- and middle-income children more equal access to independent school classrooms are the SCEA, SCASA, and SCSBA.

Here is a brief run down of each:

South Carolina Education Association (SCEA)

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The South Carolina affiliate of the far-left National Education Association (NEA) teacher union, the SCEA is infamous in the Palmetto State for using public money (in the form of teachers’ and bureaucrats’ dues) for direct cash “donations” to their favored politicians. Their pay-to-play style of politics also includes close relationships with high-dollar education contractors who profit from South Carolina’s stagnant and failing public schools. Continue reading

Why Bureaucrats hate School Choice

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Public money? Children’s futures? It’s all just a game to government school monopolists!

School Choice is a simple concept.

Every child is unique. Each has their own learning strengthens and challenges. One-size-fits-all schools don’t work for all students.

Expanding access to a wide range of classrooms ensures children attend schools that suit them. It also rewards and encourages involved parenting, the real key to student achievement.

Public policies of school choice are wildly popular among parents. They also save public schools money.

Still, bureaucrats, unions, consultants, politicians and others who benefit from the sustained under-performance of South Carolina’s public school system are fanatically committed to fighting against choices for parents.

Parents who rally behind School Choice often wonder why their tax dollars are being spent to fight such a no-nonsense reform.

Two recent newspaper articles (one in Post and Courier, the other in the State) shed light on the “logic” of those who defend the status quo. Continue reading

38% of Congress Chose Private Schools

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“My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn’t want to try to save the country’s children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children’s education.” -Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education on choosing which schools his children would attend

According to The Washington Post, 38 percent of the members of Congress sent their own children to private school, and 20 percent attended private school themselves.

This is nearly twice the percentage of the general public that has attended private institutions, and some members of Congress seem eager to keep the disparity high.

Despite test results showing participants in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program reading half a grade above their peers in public school, many of the lawmakers whose children attended private schools are trying to kill the same options for the poorest families in D.C. Continue reading

School Boards anxious about School Choice (VIDEO)

This following clip is from a 2006 meeting of the SC House Ways and Means Committee.

Despite claims by the SC School Boards Association that school choice would take money from public schools, Representative Lewis Vaughn (ret.) points out that choice would actually increase per-student funding.

Two years later, SCSBA is still committed to fighting school choice.

SC Schools Boards still breaking state laws


Money for registering your employees to vote? Great idea if you can tell them who to vote for!

It is very easy for pundits to be critical of the public school establishment in South Carolina.

Public schools in the Palmetto State are home to some of the lowest test scores and the highest drop out rates in the entire country. South Carolina is also known for an award-winning principal caught cheating on standardized testing. Don’t forget the nation’s fastest growing race- and wealth-correlated student achievement gaps.

But no one will argue public school bureaucrats are politically ineffective. Continue reading

Unions Used Tax Dollars to Block Special Ed Scholarships

Last Monday, we explained how three heartless lawmakers ( Neilson, Kirsh and White) on a House education subcommittee killed a bill offering scholarships to special needs and disabled children in South Carolina public schools.

Similar to existing laws in Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Ohio, and Florida, HB 3101 would give parents a greater voice in the development of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for their special needs students. Many special needs children already attend private schools in South Carolina through their state-developed IEP, but HB 3101 would allow parents to help make that decision, rather than school employees and district bureaucrats.

Leading the fight to deny choice to parents was the South Carolina Education Association (SCEA). This taxpayer-financed public sector union has a colorful history of high dollar lobbying in South Carolina. Screen shots of their website and newsletter show how SCEA worked to rally members against HB 3101.

Comprised of public school teachers and school officials, the SCEA should be the nonpartisan voice of educational improvement and access for all children. But working with politicians and bureaucrats at the South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) and the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA), the SCEA aggressively uses taxpayer money and out-of-state special interest support to block all substantive reform to South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation public school system. In 2005 alone, the SCEA took in over $125,000 from national teacher unions to fight against school choice.

How much are these public employees and officials willing to spend to defend the status quo?

A lot. Based on lobbying disclosure reports filled at the South Carolina Ethics Commission for 2005, 2006, and 2007 we can begin to see how SCSBA, SCASA and SCEA use taxpayer-financed membership dues to purchase political influence. In the case of the SCASA and SCSBA most members have their dues paid directly by the county of district that hires them! These numbers only represent money paid to lobbyists, not the additional money used for political action committees, maintaining websites, advertising, robocalls, email chains, and other attempts to manipulate public opinion.

School Boards Association
SCSBA: $176,811 in lobbying since 2005

Association of School Administrators
SCASA: $287,505 in lobbying since 2005

Education Association
SCEA: $50,000 in lobbying since 2005

Wasting a half million dollars in taxpayer money to politicize education reform and defend failing schools is shameful. Denying special needs children access to the best possible schools is heartless. These so-called “education” groups lack credibility. Their narrow concern with shielding a failing public school system shows how little regard they have for South Carolina’s children.