Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Loftis promotes financial literacy to Easley 4th graders

If there's one place in South Carolina where lawmakers often seem afraid to go, it's a public school classroom. And who can blame them? After all, our lawmakers alone have the power to make public education a high priority in our state budget, which they don't; and they alone have the power to raise the money necessary to adequately fund the needs of public schools, which they don't.

And it's the nature of public officials to want to go where they can win votes, and public schools aren't the place to do that, being full of children under the voting age -- very often, children who ask questions and expect answers -- and educators who pay close attention to lawmakers' voting records. For many legislators, classrooms are little more than backdrops for campaign literature photographs: The 'lectorate loves a public official that loves the children.

But South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis did something out of the ordinary recently. Though it isn't a campaign year, and though the town of Easley is far, far from the State House in Columbia, and though fourth-graders are still a decade or more away from registering to vote, Loftis attended and made a presentation on financial literacy at the "Money Cents Financial Literacy Camp" to fourth-graders in Easley.

While there, Loftis distributed games available at the State Treasurer's website to help teach financial literacy, and he encouraged his young listeners to study hard in school.

An edited portion of Loftis's presentation has been posted at YouTube.

In the video clip, Loftis makes no reference to Governor Nikki Haley's animus toward him, but it wasn't necessary; just showing up and spending time with Easley's fourth-graders made him a "relevant player" to them and their parents and teachers. After all, when was the last time a statewide-elected official visited your child's classroom?

Thanks, Treasurer Loftis.

One more thing about our Treasurer's Office: If you're a fan of transparency in government, check out Loftis's official website. You can find everything from his daily schedule to the most current valuation of our state retirement account funds, to the names of the various banks that hold our state resources. This is what transparency looks like.

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