Conclusions: The Part the State Plays In Education
It seems that the State Government of South Carolina has played loose and fast with the people of the State. From the preceding articles published in the ConservativesOfTheUpstate.com one can readily see that the State has not properly funded education according to the promises that were made: 3% of our current sales tax was put into place by the James Byrnes administration in 1950 for the purpose of building schools, 1% by Governor Dick Riley of Greenville for the "children", and 1% by Act 388 as a swap for personal resident property tax. At some time in history, the alcohol and tobacco tax was used for education and so was part of the income tax, but when a "General" fund was created, education has taken a back seat to the pet projects of politicians: Bridges, tremendous expansion of roads near the beaches, the dredging of Charleston Harbor, and social promotions have taken a huge bite out of the education money.
The General Assembly, through Statutory Law and the appointment of the "right" Supreme Court judges, has trumped Article 11 Section 3 of the Constitution, and shoveled a large portion of their responsibility on to the counties. Some of the judgements include the coinage of words and phrases such as "minimally adequate" and "local effort". Most taxation, especially sales tax, is a local effort, and you don't hear any politician tell his constituents in a campaign that they are for "minimally adequate" schools. Debt is being created through schemes which are certainly in conflict with politicians' oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of South Carolina.
When the Allendale Fairfax SC Public Schools failed performance requirements; the State of South Carolina took control of the school system.
When a financial crisis came upon SC State University, the State swiftly legislated that the Board Of Directors from the school was eliminated and the President of the University dismissed. Again, pointing to the State having complete control of the schools.
In closing, it needs be remembered that when Clemson wanted to refurbish Littlejohn Coliseum at a cost of $63,000,000+ and paid for by private funds, they had to get multiple approvals from State agencies, while Pickens County has spent $400,000,000 on unapproved construction and is in the business of refinancing bonds they do not even own and cannot own according to State law. In addition to that, they continue to create debt on projects and when they want to, spend the money on some other project, all approved by a Law firm in Columbia and by the SC Supreme Court. The Attorney General's office says they can't help because they are not staffed to investigate. The State Ethics Office says it is not illegal for a politician to benefit directly from their vote "if it helps others" when they do it. It is, not, in their opinion, a conflict of interest.