Zais asked a Ways and Means panel Wednesday not to cut a key funding stream for classrooms, but did he not ask for an increase. The so-called base student cost primarily pays teacher salaries. The current per-student allocation is about $1,900 because of recession budget cuts. A state funding formula calls for it to be nearly $2,800 this year.
House Minority Leader Harry Ott blasted Zais, repeatedly asking whether he's telling teachers they should go a fourth year without a raise.
The Republican superintendent says he's not sure the money is available, and legislators can provide more than he is requesting. Ott says Zais needs to make the request.
The person authorized under the Constitution to represent the needs of South Carolina's public schoolchildren doesn't ask the legislature for the resources necessary to meet those needs. Yet our lawmakers will bray and groan about the so-called failure of our public schools.
Flash: South Carolina's public schools are doing precisely what they are funded to do. We have what we've paid for.