Thursday, April 27, 2006

Harrell Hypocrisy Part II - School Choice Shutdown

Yesterday, the State House of Representatives was poised to cast a long-awaited vote on the newly-modified Put Parents in Charge bill, known as the "South Carolina Educational Opportunity Scholarship Act."

Providing public, private, charter and parochial school choice to the most at-risk, low-income, underperforming areas of our state, the Opportunity Scholarship Act is a compromise from last year's sweeping PPIC proposal, which the House tabled after then-Speaker David Wilkins muffed (perhaps intentionally) calling on Rep. Tracy Edge to offer the amendment that would have assured the bill's passage.

This year's version, which was shot down in subcommittee last week based on "instructions from on high," according to one Representative, had as many as sixty "Yea" votes ready to roll - more than enough for it to pass the House based on the number of representatives present and prepared to vote yesterday.

Unfortunately, what could have been a monumental victory for the 130,000 South Carolina schoolkids who are currently forced to attend failing or below average public schools, instead turned into yet another carefully-orchestrated school choice shutdown by the Mayor of Importantville himself, House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

Harrell, whose daughter happens to attend the most expensive private school in Charleston, promptly gaveled the House out-of-session when it was clear the bill was in a position to pass.

His reason?

Well, in addition to keeping South Carolina schoolkids (other than his own, anyway) trapped in failing schools for yet another year, Harrell didn't want to miss a fundraiser for liberal, big-spending, anti-choice Republican Bill Cotty, by far and away the biggest RINO in the House of Representatives.

Instead of allowing House members to vote on a bill that would have lifted thousands of South Carolina's neediest kids out of the dead-end, hopeless despair that is our state's public school system, Harrell instead decided to help raise money for a guy who wants to keep them exactly where they are, trapped.

Well congratulations, Mr. Speaker. You've got a new nickname today.

For your tireless efforts to keep hundreds of thousands of kids from getting a quality education, we at FITS hereby dub you the "Superintendent of Stupid."


Blogger Earl Capps said...

Didn't Bobby also support taking lottery money away from technical college students, but not four year college students?

I'll bet he didn't/doesn't/won't have any of his kids in technical colleges either.

For years the Democrats tried painting Republicans as elitist country-clubbers, living above and apart from the rest of the world.

It looks like some Republicans are working hard to give at least some degree of credibility to that stereotype.

1:12 PM

Anonymous Public Schools said...

Dear Bob,

Thank you.

I appreciate it.

4:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you see this from today's State Newspaper?

House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, said he agrees with the (school choice bill) concept but has not studied its details yet.

Harrell said the traditional argument of public schools and public money versus whether it is fair to leave a poor child in a school that is failing is at issue.

“It’s a debate the General Assembly ought to have,” he said

What a load of BS right? How can the major media let him get away with that?

4:48 PM


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