Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sen. Pinckney

Senator Pinckney, you and your colleagues in the SC Legislature know better.

You know that year after year South Carolina ranks at the bottom of the country in education.

You know that, when asked about your bill to provide in excess of $100 MILLION to shopping mall developer Sembler Company to build a high-end MEGA shopping mall in tiny Hardeeville, that S.C. Department of Education spokesman Jim Foster said, "While you’ve got to acknowledge that economic development is critically important for that area of South Carolina, it obviously would be a concern if several million dollars in K-12 funds were cut. But at this point, that would be like throwing another bucket of water on somebody who’s already drowning because public schools have already taken more than $700 million in cuts over the past 22 months," Foster continued. "The big issue continues to be … this ongoing practice of making piecemeal changes to state tax policy instead of looking at the big picture in any kind of comprehensive way."

How many times have we been at a fast food restaurant, a Walmart, or similar store and encountered a young employee in their twenties who can’t make change, or even communicate in a meaningful way?

You and your colleagues know better. Building a high-end MEGA mall isn’t the answer. The $40K/yr. managerial jobs in the high-end stores that you refer to require people who can read, write, and calculate on a twelfth grade level nationally. Ten years from now WITH the MEGA mall young people who can’t read or write or calculate on a twelfth grade level will STILL be working the low-end jobs that you’re complaining about.

Senator Pinckney, with all due respect, we didn’t send you and your colleagues in the Legislature to Columbia to give tax money to developers. We sent you to Columbia to solve the problem of substandard public education in South Carolina. Adequately educating our young people will bring their prosperity in the future. Handouts to developers will not.


No comments: