Tag Archives: Superintendent Jim Rex

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.

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Rex Says Administrative Travel Costs Are “Justified” (VIDEO)

In his televised “State of Our Schools” talk, Rex addressed an uncomortable question posed by The Voice: If schools are so broke, why are many administrators running up bills at a “Leadership Conference” in Myrtle Beach that they fully intend to hand off to the taxpayers back home?

Besides trying to minimize the question with condescending laughter, Rex pointed out that only 800 bureaucrats were in attendance, unlike the 1800 that attended last year. Additionally, representatives from some of the state’s most challenged schools were in attendance, and the issues facing them must be addressed in the setting provided by the SCASA ( South Carolina Association of School Administrators) “Leadership Conference.”

Rex finished off by pointing out that a significant portion of the state’s tourist revenue comes from Myrtle Beach, and that cancelling the “long-standing” SCASA conference would be detrimental to the tourism industry.

So taxpayers should pony up for district bureaucrats to take a sea-side vacation because they don’t want tourism revenues in Myrtle Beach to decline? Even in times of economic prosperity, people would balk at this kind of expense ( if they knew) in the name of “education.” How much more now, when teachers are being laid off, and parents are being warned that class sizes and their property tax bills could be increasing?

Some administrators chose not to attend, and to spare local parents the burden of paying for the trip. Others felt that attending was important enough for them to pay for the trip out-of-pocket. Tough times call for tough spending practices, and trips to Myrtle Beach don’t fit that description.

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

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Jim Rex Admits that Parents and Students want more Choices

Footage of Jim Rex speaking at his self-styled “townhall meeting” dancing around the issue of real school choice.

Superintendent Rex is clear: “Parents and students want more choices.”

Rex further explains that those children in school districts with the fewest choices are probably the students who need them most.

Sadly, despite the rhetoric, Rex is using untold sums of public money to fight against the school choices parents want.

Jim Rex admits some schools are “dropout factories”

South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Dr. Jim Rex admits to the existence of “dropout factories,” which he blames for the state’s shameful 55.6% on-time graduation rate.

Video footage was taken of Rex speaking at Education Department orchestrated “Town Hall meeting” at Greenville’s J.L. Mann High School on May 28, 2009.

Despite the shameful dropout rate, Rex is committed to blocking serious reform being push by parents and educators across the state.

Parents are Talking, Are Lawmakers Listening? (VIDEO)

Dozens of parents have testified before state senators about the need families have for real school choice, and thousands more have visited the Statehouse over the last three years to plead with lawmakers for a fair chance at quality education.

Private school educatorshome school parents and public school parents have pointed out example after example of children with educational needs that local public schools are unable, or unwilling to meet.

Lawmakers, like State Senator Robert Ford, have pointed out the injustice of confining thousands of children to failing public schools, with no education, and no hope for anything better.

Even in front of the parents pleading with the state senate for help, education officials and establishment insiders stand up and try to divert lawmakers’ attention away from parents, and back to the wants of the establishment.

Lawmakers need to listen to the people in their districts who want real choices, and act accordingly.

Parents Pack Senate Building to Demand “Students over System”

school-choice-overflow-22
One of the two over-flow rooms packed with supporters of School Choice during the K-12 Education Subcommittee public hearing on S.520.

Today over 200 parents, educators, children and activists packed the halls of the state senate offices. Their mission was to urge state senators sitting on the K-12 Education Subcommittee to vote for real school choice options in South Carolina.

Despite the fact that halls in the Gressette Building are regularly crowded with paid lobbyists, security personnel refused to allow parents to stand in the hall outside where the hearing was taking place.  Even though many of these individuals had traveled long distances to be seen by their elected officials, scores of parents, children and educators were made to move to other empty hearing rooms, some of which were on a different floor from where the hearing was taking place.

Even these attempts to diminish the impact of the voters and taxpayers supporting school choice could not lessen the appeal of the parents’ testimonies. Continue reading