Superintendant of Education Jim Rex had a rough week. First, his campaign fundraising for his race for Governor is dismal. To many Democrats, Rex made a mistake running for Governor instead of re-election.
The second blow to Rex is perhaps why he chose to run for Governor instead of re-election. The South Carolina school and district report cards for the past year are now finally out. Rex called the reports “sobering.” VUI calls the reports disturbing. The reports suggest that South Carolina public schools are regressing, not improving. Add to that failure the increased cost of administration and how in these tough budget times, some administrator is paid six figures while good teachers are let go. In short, reports and budget gimmicks to protect bureaucrats have left our public schools in the worst shape that they have been in decades.
For the above reasons, it is likely that Jim Rex will lose the Democratic nomination for Governor, as frankly, he should. But, the people of South Carolina seem so detached from the race for who replaces Rex.
There are Democrats and Republicans running, and in the near future, VUI will address those candidates and the issues involved. For now, VUI chooses to dwell upon the fact that the race has no attention. South Carolina schools are in crisis, and even the politically active in both parties have a hard time even naming the candidates, much less intelligently advocated for one.
It is part of the unplugged nature of this primary season. But, with the failures of our public schools now front and center, it is time for those of us who keep up with politics to do some work and find out about the candidates and make a way for the people to care about what happens with public education. For whatever reason, down ballot statewide races do not seem to matter to people today. But, no job is more important than the job that deals with public education. We will be on it, but that will not matter unless you do your homework as well.