State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex says the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling against Governor Mark Sanford paves the way for federal stabilization funds to be available in time to send to local school districts to help students next school year.
Rex was excited about the decision but exasperated at the same time. “I’m glad about the ruling, but I’m sorry it took so long and that we had to go to the courts to determine what 49 other states and governors figured out many months ago.”
Rex says he is hearing a big sigh of relief from local school districts. Many of them have already had to lay off teachers due to the recession. Rex says now the districts can move ahead and approve budgets that save teaching positions that were going to be cut, and save programs that were on “life support.”
Rex says class sizes were really going to increase next year as a result of cuts if the stimulus funds had not been allowed. He says it is hard for school districts to run schools without proper funding and state budget cuts have made it hard. “We actually had to go to the courts, and we’re out of step with what other states are doing to be competitive. ‘Better late than never’ is a phrase I would prefer to stop using, frankly, when it comes to moving our state forward.”