Saturday, February 11, 2012

Haley's budget ranks among five most harmful to education

Columnist Sarah Jaffe at casts Governor Nikki Haley's budget proposal for 2012-13 dead-center among the five most harmful to public education, in a column posted here this weekend.

Budget plans offered by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Ohio Governor John Kasich ranked first and second in her list, and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear finishes fourth and fifth.

But Haley manages to shine from her third-place ranking anyway.

Kasich's elimination of the estate tax is certainly one example of policies that favor the 1 percent and leave students out in the cold, but South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has gone Kasich one better and proposes to entirely eliminate the corporate income tax in her state. That would cost nearly $140 million in the first year alone—-so Haley's taking a chunk of that cash out of public schools.

Her budget, according to Columbia, SC news channel WLTX, cuts “a key funding stream” for public schools, one that primarily goes to teachers' salaries. And another local station, WJBF, reports that while Haley cut public school teachers' incomes, she includes an extra $10 million for charter schools. So that's less money for public employees, more money for private companies using state education funds.

John Ruoff, policy analyst and founder of South Carolina Fair Share, pointed out that eliminating the state corporate tax is likely to have little impact on job creation—-but a big impact on much-needed public programs like the schools. "Governor Haley ought to be a lot more concerned about how we develop a state that businesses want to come to," Ruoff told Tax Analysts. That means having decent infrastructure and a well-educated workforce, not just a zero tax rate.

That Nikki Haley. Ain't she somethin'?

I just feel sorry for whoever follows her in the governor's office. What a mess they'll have to clean up.

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