Will Sanford take next step, and actually WORK with Rex?

Check out Cindi’s column today. It seems Gov. Sanford was somewhat taken aback to learn that he and Supt. of Ed. Jim Rex have some reform goals in common — this, despite the fact that I (and others) have made that point to him since right after last year’s election. Here’s video of my asking the governor about this in January.

Unfortunately, the governor has put all his education-related energies into the effort to pay people to desert the public schools, rather than into making those schools better.

Like Cindi, I, too, am encouraged that — thanks to his laudable efforts to get his hands around the budget process — the governor has at long last had a conversation with Mr. Rex regarding these matters. (It’s also great to see the first lady working with Mr. Rex on another front.) He asked Mr. Rex whether he would actively advocate some of these reforms. What I want to know is, will the governor break precedent and do something he never did with Inez Tenenbaum, and has failed for a year to do with Mr. Rex — seize upon areas of agreement, and get some worthwhile things done.

As you know, we believe that the governor should appoint the education superintendent, and have direct control over how that half of the state budget is spent. So, to hear him tell it, does the governor. But up to now, he has stiffened resistance to that idea among those who care about education by swinging back and forth between negligent apathy and outright hostility toward public schools. It’s time he helped the cause of government restructuring — not to mention the crucial cause of universal education — by showing he can be a force for positive change.

2 thoughts on “Will Sanford take next step, and actually WORK with Rex?

  1. Doug Ross

    What can Governor Sanford or Mr. Rex do without the approval of the legislators?
    You’ve got a governor who the legislators hate for not playing their games and an education superintendent who probably has very few supporters on the Republican side of the house.
    Maybe Mr. Rex could COMPROMISE and support a pilot voucher program to be tried in some failing district with strict income limits.
    That would be a fine first step in changing the status quo and working together. What’s the worst thing that could happen with such a pilot? That it works???

  2. Wallace

    Having Mark Sanford on board with any plan is the kiss of death.
    Today, Mark Sanford was pronounced by a foreign newspaper to be the 91 most prominent conservative in the country. But the man can’t pass legislation, run a cabinet agency, or shift public opinion. He can’t fill the vacancies on his boards or commissions. All he can do is promote Mark Sanford.
    When will the public wake up and discover what virtually every elected and appointed official in the state already knows…that Mark Sanford is a failure and is irrelevant to the dedicated public officials that actually care about the people of this state.
    The chattering classes love his hard-line conservative stances. They love his David vs Goliath act. The further away from SC they are, the more they love him. But what they fail to see is that the people of SC are poorer for our interactions with Mark Sanford.

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