Speaker appears ready to get to work on improving rural schools

This came over the transom this afternoon:

Speaker Lucas Reacts to Supreme Court’s Denial for Abbeville Rehearing

Releases names of the five plaintiff participants in the education task force

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Hartsville) announced the five representatives who will participate in the House Education Policy Review and Reform Task Force. These individuals were selected by the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Abbeville v. StateSupreme Court case and their names were provided to the Speaker’s office on Friday.

The House and Senate asked for a rehearing in November after the Supreme Court issued its decision on the twenty-one year old case.  Speaker Lucas, a representative from the Pee Dee, submitted the request primarily because the Court did not provide enough clarity on how to proceed in its ruling.

“Today’s Supreme Count announcement further confirms the dire need for comprehensive education reform,” Speaker Jay Lucas stated. “In light of the Court’s decision to deny a rehearing, I am hopeful that the House Education Task Force will immediately begin its work to develop a robust strategy that ensures every child is given access to the best possible education in every part of our state. These five representatives from the Abbeville v. State case will provide significant insight and help create standards that put our state back on a path towards excellence.”

Representatives from Abbeville County School Districts v. the State of South Carolina

            Wanda L. Andrews, Ed. D.

Superintendent, Lee County School District

Former Assistant Superintendent, Spartanburg County School District 7

Former Deputy Superintendent, Sumter County School District 2


            David Longshore, Jr., Ph.D.

Former Superintendent and current consultant, Orangeburg County Consolidated District 3

Former Member, State Board of Education

Former President, South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA)

Former President, SCASA Superintendent’s Division

Former Consultant, Educational Testing Service

Former Member, Board of Visitors, MUSC


            Terry K. Peterson, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow, College of Charleston

Education Advisor, C.S. Mott Foundation

Former Chief Counselor to U.S. Secretary of Education, Secretary Riley

Former Education Director, Office of Governor Riley


            Rick Reames

Executive Director, Pee Dee Education Center

Former Deputy Superintendent, Florence County School District 1


            John Tindal

Superintendent, Clarendon County School District 2

Former Chair, State Board of Education

Former President, South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA)

            Former President, SCASA Superintendent’s Division

Seems like the speaker has a fairly healthy attitude on the subject, in that he’s ready to get to work on the problem. Or says so, anyway.

12 thoughts on “Speaker appears ready to get to work on improving rural schools

  1. Silence

    Did anyone else see this article on the student fees at SC universities? http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150124/PC20/150129638/1032/student-fees-fuel-athletics-at-state-x2019-s-mid-major-schools
    Annual student athletic fees at SC uni’s:
    The Citadel $2,392
    Coastal Carolina $2,292
    S.C. State $2,192
    Winthrop $1,450
    College of Charleston $1,210
    USC Upstate $950
    South Carolina $104
    Clemson $0

    Those athletic fees are just plumb ridiculous, at all but USC & Clemson. If Silence were in charge, I’d cancel the sports programs and just let the students play intramurals.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    Um, why could the legislature not work to improve the schools on its own initiative? Why wait until SCOSC says they have to?
    I know…

      1. Silence

        Nobody HATES public education. They just HATE certain things about it. Namely, the high price, poor quality, and lack of accountability offered by the government’s education monopoly.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yeahhh… I’m just gonna have to go ahead and… disagree with you there.

          Over the last couple of decades, there has developed a significant subset of the population that exhibits a marked hostility to the very IDEA of public education.

          And while I’m not saying you’re one of them, you’re using their language. “Government’s education monopoly” (a thing that obviously, on its face, does not exist, else there would be no private schools) is their rhetoric. It reeks of hostility to the very idea of public education.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            Well, certainly there’s a lot of evidence to support the theory that the powers-that-be want an ignorant populace who can be easily swayed and controlled. And that there is a lot of Stockholm Syndrome among said populace.
            …and rich people who don’t want to pay for their share.

            1. Doug Ross

              “and rich people who don’t want to pay for their share.”

              Because poor people and others wanted to define what the share should be. Share would imply everyone paying an equal percentage. Rich people already pay their share and that of others.

              The easiest thing in the world is deciding how much another person should pay for something you want.

            2. Brad Warthen Post author

              Uh-huh. That’s why we have our system of representative democracy, so that all of us have a say — through our elected representatives — in what sort of taxation system we’ll have.

              The system you describe — “The easiest thing in the world is deciding how much another person should pay for something you want” — is what we had when absolute monarchs decided what they wanted everybody else to pay.

              We came up with this system to do away with that problem.

            3. Brad Warthen Post author

              Actually, I shouldn’t have said “uh-huh” to “The easiest thing in the world is deciding how much another person should pay for something you want,” even facetiously.

              Because personally, I don’t find that to be true. I worry MORE when I’m spending other people’s money.

              Fortunately, that’s not a problem when it comes to taxation and spending, because it’s OUR money rather than someone else’s. We all have an equal say about how much we pay and how it should be spent. That certainly doesn’t mean I’m always happy with the result; it seems the result seldom goes the way I want it to.

              But I’m not the King, am I? I’m just another citizen…

            4. Brad Warthen Post author

              I think a lot of libertarians, who see government as illegitimate because it doesn’t always do what they want, really want to be king. And if they can’t be — if the taxes aren’t exactly what they want to pay, and the money isn’t spent exactly the way they want it to be — then they see the whole shebang as illegitimate. They want to take their ball and go home, because they think the system isn’t working right.

              But it is, actually, most of the time…

            5. Doug Ross

              Brad, you are assigning thoughts to the mythical libertarian that do not apply to most people who would like to see a more limited government.

              I want a smaller more efficient government. I don’t know EXACTLY what that would look like but I do know it doesn’t look anything like what we have now.

              My view of the government has evolved over the years as I have paid a larger and larger percentage of my income into the system and seen less value returned. When I write four checks a year to the federal government that are in total more than I made as my full salary 15 years ago, it makes me think I am getting gouged. I’ve said it before – I get K-Mart quality for Saks 5th Avenue prices.

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