Friday, March 23

A hidden cost to private school busing

This blog made reference to possible increased costs to the taxpayer because of role unions might play if the state school bus fleet is privatized. Charleston County served as an example. Yet, that is the not the big hidden cost to the taxpayers that is not mentioned in all the talk about choice and freedom.

In the bill, the State Department of Education will turn over facilities to school districts. That might sound good to some who do know understand the way things work. Those bus facilities have enjoyed being exempt from DHEC standards on things like gasoline and oil spills because they are owned and operated by the State Department of Education. They are facilities that sit as potential money pits with the environmental issues that have already happened.

The problem is school districts are not exempt from DHEC laws and regulations. School districts will simply be given “junk” at a big cost if the bill to privatize school bus services comes to be. Literally overnight, local school districts will be strapped with cleanup costs that taxpayers will have to pay for.

It is a puzzling thing. It shows how Nikki Haley and General Zais and their supporters in the General Assembly do not think things out. In their zeal to supposedly limit government and give choice, they will create more government cost, either through unions or environmental clean ups or both. Let us be frank. More expense through a state tax or through a local school property tax is still more cost for government. The cost of cleaning up the now exempt facilities alone will hamper public school districts in a way that is unprecedented.

Now, if Governor Haley and General Zais just simply loathe public education and kids getting a shot at decent life through it, let them come clean and say that. After all, they seem all too eager to grab every dollar from education. They will not admit it. Instead, they will both rake in big campaign dollars doing the bidding of donors with self-interested notions, all the while not doing the homework , so to speak and not realizing that what they support is something that will actually cost taxpayers more money overall. Who knew that Governor Haley and her supporters in the legislature would fight so hard to bring us higher taxpayer costs via unions and environmental costs? But, hey, they will get their contributions.

There lies the real problem. For whatever reason, South Carolina elected a Governor, a Superintendent of Education, and some members of the General Assembly who seem dimwitted in thinking things out about how their policies will really affect this state. The campaign cash created them. It blinds them. It created pundits who walk lockstep with them. People who voted to make government cost less have ended up with leaders who will make government cost more. The only difference is the added costs will go into the pockets of folks who put them in office.

South Carolina was rated one of the most corrupt states in the United States recently. And, that is no surprise. Our leaders are not for limited government, they are for big government that benefits theirs. The school bus issue is just another example of it. They hide behind words like choice and freedom, but as the second President of the United States, John Adams, once said, “Facts are stubborn things.”
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