06
May
09

Teachers As Pawns

In South Carolina, there is a bitter battle going on over federal economic stimulus money. Governor Sanford has stood firm in rejecting a portion of the stimulus money (now wanting to use it to pay off the state’s debt, if accepted), while liberals have been ridiculing him and claiming that the sky is going to fall if SC doesn’t use the money for education.

The State newspaper has been following in line with the socialists (of course) with scaremongering headlines warning of future education job cuts and death, gloom and despair if SC doesn’t get use the money as they deem best. Many teachers I’ve heard from are scared that they will lose their jobs, because some principals and administrators have been telling them to “prepare for the worst” if Governor Sanford doesn’t change his mind.

When all of this began to hit the fan, I remembered the campaign of Tim Moultrie, in 2006, when he ran for Superintendent of Education on the Libertarian Party’s ticket.

During that race, Moultrie’s staff sent information requests to several school districts in the state, asking for their Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs). By law, these school district financial statements are made available to the public, on request.

Amazingly, some districts’ officials acted as if they had never heard of such a thing, when first contacted. Once it was explained to them that each district had to have one, and that by law it had to be made available for public scrutiny, suddenly they remembered (“Ohhhhhh, that.“)

In the information that was returned from 25 of the 85 total SC school districts, these 25 districts had nearly a quarter of a BILLION dollars in unreserved/undesignated funds. In other words, this was money just sitting in the bank, set aside, with no detailed plan on how the districts would use it – all while the Educrat socialists continually cried for additional funding.

Here is the information obtained from the reports of those 25 Districts (out of 85 total):

Abbeville         3,153,545
Anderson 1         3,288,677
Anderson 2         1,929,211
Anderson 4         5,215,196
Bamberg 1         380,211
Beaufort         11,283,646
Charleston         7,325,690
Clarendon 1         565,818
Dorchester 2         8,759,216
Georgetown 1           7,377,623
Greenville         36,932,332
Greenwood 51         2,294,948
Horry         507,469
Lancaster 1         9,869,381
Lexington 1         11,418,550
Lexington 2         5,842,766
Newberry         5,000,601
Richland 1           14,887,400
Spartanburg 5         7,689,326
Spartanburg 6         10,571,742
Spartanburg 7         12,126,562
Sumter 2         5,486,284
Sumter 17         3,396,295
York 1                 5,970,449
York 2                 11,593,258

Back then, the rallying cry for more funding was the so-called “Corridor of Shame” (certain schools reported to be in a state of disrepair). Now, teachers are being used as pawns, with threats of job losses, if stimulus money isn’t used to increase funding for government-run education.

In my opinion, this is absolutely shameless, down-and-dirty politics, using the lives of the teachers they claim to love and support so much (give me a break!) as pawns in a money game. It’s sickening!

My question is this: If there was no possibility of stimulus funding, would these Educrats still be acting like Chicken Little, threatening massive teacher unemployment? If so, how did things get to that point, all of a sudden, without any warning or contingency plan?

Sorry, but I’m calling “BS!” on this one, but a gullible public seems to be falling for what I feel is a huge opportunistic, socialist scam.

Maybe it’s time we went back to the CAFRs, to see how many hundreds of millions of dollars the school districts are currently tucking away as unreserved/undesignated – and then tar and feather them, and run them out of town for mismanaging your tax money and causing so much stress, strife and hardship.

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