Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Public education still matters

It is hip, using the word of the day, to "dis" public education if one considers himself a Republican.  The South Carolina GOP now has a purity test on the subject.  If one is not for tuition tax credits for private schools, then one is not a real Republican.  So be it.  This comes for the party that has as it champion a Governor who would rather cater to Wal Mart than work to give people jobs in South Carolina.  Governor Haley made clear she would not support jobs in SC through Amazon but she would let the bill to locate them here go unsigned. Haley is no Carroll Campbell.    Fair enough.  No wonder she stands where she does on public education.   

Make no mistake, public education needs real reform.  Politicians need to roll up their sleeves and get to work to make the public schools better.  After all, the better educated our workforce is the more high paying jobs we can bring in and that adds to the tax base and so forth. Further, educating the least among us gives them a chance at the American economy and keeps them off welfare and out of prisons, things we taxpayers pay for.  But, try telling that to Governor Haley and her minions.  

They have a narrow focus.  They want to give tax breaks to the the well to do and to those who try to be well to do to send their kids to private schools.  It is appealing for those folks. Who does not want a tax break on their kids tuition that enables one to have the nice car or the big boat to show off?  If Haley and her minions sold that as their purpose, fair enough.  But, they do not.  They tell us the tuition tax credits for private schools gives poor kids a chance.  It is a flat lie. 

Think on it.  Suppose some single mom in Allendale county has two kids.  She wants the best for her kids, as we all do.  She gets on a bus and rides to Hilton Head Island to clean hotel rooms.  She makes, at the best, thirty grand a year.  Her kids go to Allendale public schools.  She learns of a private school nearby, which, frankly there is not one that would take her kids.  Say the tuition for each kid in five grand, and that is being conservative and low in the estimate.  So, this single mom, who makes only about thirty thousand, is told she can give her kids a chance at a better education if she pays out ten thousand, a third of what she brings in at best, and some point in the future she will get it back.  

Frankly,no matter her intentions, that single mom can not do it.  She has to pay for rent, utilities and health care.  The landlord and the power company are not going to wait on her getting a tax credit from the state.  So, even in Haley's ultimate world, those kids remain in the public schools.  

And, what do they face in those public schools?  If we rob tax money from the people to subsidize the well to do to get the big boat and big car, the public schools suffer.  The kids in Allendale end up with the least education the state can offer.  

I realize that some might say, "who cares?" about such.  Fair enough.  But, in the end we as a society will spend money through welfare programs, and if not that policing and prisons to deal with the children who are not well educated. Frankly put, the tax break that allowed you to buy the big boat or the Volvo will in the end cost you more in tax money to pay to protect you from the children you chose not to pay to educate.  

That is reality.  That is life.  It might hurt someone's conservative agenda and model, but in the real world, life is what it is.  If we really want to fix this state and set it on the right course, then getting public education right is the way.  Kowtowing to those outside the system will no do it.  Their kids have to live in the real world with the rest of us.  What will those kids think when they find out you took a special tax break that kept the guy who held them up from getting a good education?

I know that seems dramatic.  But it is true.  Educating young folks is the silver bullet for most of our ills.  There is a lot wrong with how public education does that.  But, public education needs to be reformed, not done away with.   Without good public education, we have a weak minded people.  For the short term, the rich and ne er to wells might enjoy it.  But, in the long run, they will suffer as they have to pay to protect themselves from a public that no longer produces.  

Indeed,when you look at the historical writings of our nation, good public education was at the center of good order and a business friendly America.  Public education is an American value.  But it does lack.  For so many who claim to champion our constitution have never read it and can not cite it to save their lives.  Most of them are a product of public schools.  But before we let a big government program subsidize private schools, lets roll up our sleeves and do the hard work of reforming the public schools, whose graduates make up our state and nation. 


  1. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    Bullshit. I got mine. You get yours.

  2. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    Here, here! The real issue in SC is not how good or bad education is. It is about poverty. Pro-voucher/Private school people continue to spout old-style data about SC being the worst state in the nation for education (based on SAT Scores). Yet the rest of us know that this data is directly related to how SC allows all students to take the SAT (almost 70%), versus the top 20 states who only allow their top students to take the SAT (top 5%) while directing all others to take the ACT. The truth is, SC has one of the most progressive and highest rated rates of improvement, along with the nations highest rankings for teacher quality and academic standards. Overall, we have reached the middle of the road (top 25) in 10 short years of improvement. The real issues is that this is only true in SC counties that have money and power (Lex, Richland, Upstate counties, Horry, etc). The rest of the state suffers due to extreme generational poverty. Yet our state continues to promote economic initiatives and practices that reward counties with wealth and power with more and more industry while the rest of the counties wallow in squaller. THIS IS THE REAL ISSUE, but no elected official will take this on because it would not get them re-elected. It is the hardest and most serious issue in SC. Unfortunately, it is much easier to say, HEY...lets improve education (how can you argue against that)?

    The reason the "Spartanburg Six" did not vote for vouchers is that they know that the 7 districts in Sptb County are academic and fiscal models that the rest of the state should be following. They knew that this credit was purley for the wealthy to help them with private schools tuition (as real people can't afford private school - even with a tax credit). The NON-Vote for Vouchers was a vote for children and a vote for real tax payers.

  3. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    Nice post

  4. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    You stupid RINO go away, I say go away, never was. You and are blog are a joke. Haley is Governor. She won. We are in charge and you are a loser.

  5. You hit nailed this one, McCarty. Well done.

  6. Hey, Anonymous...you call him "a loser"...on what grounds? By what standard? I submit that an individual who spends his or her time making anonymous comments on blogs which consist of nothing more than grade school-level taunts and name-calling is most likely the one who is camped out in Loser Town. Just sayin'....

  7. Reform SC NowMay 31, 2011

    Georgia, you can have McCarty all the loser RINOS with him. Good riddance. We wont waste our tax money on trying to educate monkeys

  8. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    Monkeys? Is that what Haley folks call Black people? I knew Indians did not like us, but come on, monkeys? Somebody tell that bitch in chief to get real.

  9. r. patelMay 31, 2011

    Black people in SC are not educated enough to run hotels. Get over it.

  10. real momMay 31, 2011

    I homeschool my kids. I do not want my children exposed to the Blacks and Muslims that run our public schools. My kids will NEVER call Barack Obama their leader. I teach them at home with good Christian values. I do not send them to the sorry Muslim and Black ran public schools we pay for that praises the Muslim President. I want my money back. Go Haley. You can go serve your black muslim President, me and my children will not, never! And we should not pay for you to.

  11. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    Amen Real Mom. We in Anderson County have no love for Black Muslims who stole the White House. Educate that, liberal lover McCarty. Rick Driver is the real news.

  12. @ "real mom"...I hate to burst your bubble, dear...but the last time I checked, hatred, bigotry and prejudice were most assuredly NOT "good Christian values." The very definition of a "Christian" is one who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. I don't know what Bible you are reading, but nowhere in MY Bible can I find any reference to Jesus Christ espousing hatred, bigotry and prejudice...in fact, quite the opposite. I will pray for you and your children.

  13. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    The issue here is power.
    You think you are smart enough to make decisions for parents.
    Its just that simple.
    That is the command and control model of government. This is why people are frustrated with so many "Republicans" in South Carolina. No matter the part or the sympathies, the core issue is control.

  14. Fred Garret, Jr.June 01, 2011

    Yo, anon, you know the government controls us in so many ways. I mean I want to drive drunk 100 MPH down the road, what business is it of government to tell me I can not? That is a form or control over me, damn it. Oh, I forget, others live around me and like to drive on the roads safely...and we need to make sure kids are educated so they are productive citizens one day...Yeah, control.

  15. Bus DriverJune 01, 2011

    Mr. McCarty

    You wrote a nice article here, but you left one thing out. Public schools have to transport kids to and from school. Private schools do not. Do you know that we have homeless children that we even have to get cabs to pick up and take to school because they are off the bus routes? We have to take everybody. Private schools do not. Dont get me wrong, I am glad we do. But some people in my own family do not know the world we live in and how kids struggle. Keep up the good work.

  16. AnonymousJune 01, 2011

    Hey Teacher, leave those kids alone. I don't need no education. All in all you are just another brick in the wall.

  17. AnonymousJune 01, 2011

    Did Ronnie Townsend write this for you? Listen to Rick Driver on weekday mornings on WAIM..a real American.