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SC Legislators Continue To Deny Court-Ordered Education In "Corridor Of Shame"
Published:
2/4/2015 4:10:53 PM


Photo of a predominately Black rural school in South Carolina’s “Corridor of Shame” that need resources to provide a quality education
 

Photo of a predominately Black rural school in South Carolina’s “Corridor of Shame” that need resources to provide a quality education
 

Photo of a predominately Black rural school in South Carolina’s “Corridor of Shame” that need resources to provide a quality education
 
Staff Reports


The South Carolina State Legislature’s efforts to appeal a state Supreme Court ruling mandating it provides the resources to rural schools in the state’s worst school districts indicate the general assembly will continue to do nothing to insure students in the predominantly Black schools of the “Corridor of Shame” receive a quality education.

Two local legislators said this week it is unlikely the legislature will do anything this year to meet the court’s demands for a plan to upgrade some of the state’s worst schools. Last week the supreme court rejected a request to appeal the order issued last November in the 21-year-old case.

Charleston Sen. Marlon Kimpson said he is disappointed the state’s conservative general assembly led by Gov. Nikki Haley is spending time and resources to appeal the ruling rather than moving with light speed to come up with a plan addressing the disparities. Hollywood Rep. Robert Brown said the state historically has refused to invest in educating all children. “It’s a shame it’s still happening,” he said.

Kimpson and Brown expect the general assembly will continue to drag its feet to avoid providing quality education to Black students along the corridor of shame in the six counties represented by U.S. Cong. James Clyburn. The lawsuit to force the legislature to provide basic education to the schools was brought in 1993.

Conservative leadership in both the House and Senate are posturing to give the appearance of activity - committees and task forces have been created, but essentially nothing is expected to happen this legislative session to move the process significantly forward, they said.

The senate won’t ignore the court’s mandate, but he’s not optimistic it will come up with a plan to provide funding or other resources to those school districts this year, Kimpson said.

“At least we’re having the conversation,” he said. “It’s a waste of time and money to appeal the ruling, so we know it’s going to be a fight. Even on the eve of the court order some conservatives still are vowing to avoid compliance. Still, the needs of those schools haven’t been ignored completely. Last year we gave over $20 million for early childhood education that largely will go to those districts,” Kimpson said.

“I don’t see us doing anything this year,” echoed Brown. “We’ve created a committee to study the issue, but the appeal tells me they don’t really want to do anything or comply. South Carolina doesn’t want to put any money into public education,” he said.

“Eventually that will have to change because of the court’s decision. But that change will take place very slowly.” Noting that the legislature is in violation of the state constitution by failing to provide basic education to all students Brown added, “With all the jobs coming here South Carolina wants to appear progressive, but we still have children who are not being provided quality education - at least not in public schools.”
 

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