Time to act on education funding reform

Mr. Davis, a Beaufort attorney and former chief of staff to Gov. Mark Sanford, is the Republican candidate for Senate District 46.

…As the governor’s senior policy advisor, I was stunned to discover the degree of state control over the allocation of our education dollars. Some dollars are sent to districts, some are sent to schools, some are divided among schools, some are set aside for programs that may or may not be applicable to a school, and so on. There are also pages of line-item education appropriations added into the state budget each year at the behest of lobbyists and special interests.

Adding to the confusion is the huge number of different funding streams for K-12 education that flow from the Education Finance Act, the Education Improvement Act, the Education Accountability Act and the Education Lottery.

A large corps of state bureaucrats manages these expenditures and oversees these complicated funding formulas, and local school districts are forced to employ administrators of their own to comply with all the red tape. Obviously, every dollar spent on these administrative costs is a dollar that isn’t spent educating our children.

It is time to do away with all of the archaic funding streams and the state control of spending and to adopt what is known as “backpack” funding. This type of funding enables public schools to receive a per-student grant for every child they serve, while giving local school leaders control over their budgets in order to fulfill their school’s mission….

Read the full article in The State