Editors of the Daily Gamecock wasted no time answering Governor Nikki Haley's remarks to the General Assembly on Wednesday:
Gov. Nikki Haley spent most of her State of the State speech Wednesday night addressing the economy, but she glossed over one of the biggest issues facing South Carolina today.
Haley touched on education for only a few brief moments, leaving us feeling that it’s simply an afterthought to a governor attempting to lay the groundwork for where the next year.
To us, this is a grave mistake.
Haley focused on bringing more attractive jobs and businesses to South Carolina and how the state can best remove major roadblocks to economic growth. What she fails to realize, or at the very least acknowledge, is that the state’s failing education system is a major reason why many corporations aren’t interested in moving to South Carolina.
Education is the linchpin of society. In neighborhoods across America, a robust public K-12 education system boosts home values, median wages and many other vital statistics that gauge the economic health of a community. A prestigious education system is an invaluable, intangible quality many look for when relocating for employment purposes.
Parents aren’t going to take new jobs in a county where public education is poor; they’ll look to places that invest in education and have schools that are well recognized as the best, not the worst, in the country.
And they don’t want to pay college tuition rates for private K-12 education when they can get an equivalent public education elsewhere. It’s nothing personal; it’s simply dollars and cents — it’s business.
Fixing the public education system in the state is critical to our economy, and Haley missed that point. If you want to bring more jobs and business to our state, invest in education — that’s the biggest barrier to corporations, and families, calling South Carolina their new home.
Turn, clock, and speed time until these young souls are of age to replace our elected leaders, and to bring to the dreary halls of the House and Senate a renewal of common sense, and to bring to the Governor's office intelligence and vitality, and vision and commitment.
And, when that time finally arrives, may South Carolina take her rightful place at the table of states in a glorious nation, and may her children rejoice, every last one of them from Caesar's Head to Port Royal.