Inside SC's Schools: Viewer Comments - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Inside SC's Schools: Viewer Comments

  • DF, Lugoff:
    I think that this state which I was born and raised in should be ashamed that we allow childern in the year 2005 to attend schools that are are so poorly kept. The lottery money should be going to the counties that do not have the revenue that other counties have so that better schools can be bilt and children can learn in a better enviroment. It's appauling that the state department of education would allow children to attend school where there is raw sewage coming up through the floor. State officials need to get their priorities in order and remember that todays children are going to be voters one day. It only takes one vote to make a difference.
  • GQ, Columbia:
    I would not allow my child to attend schools that have been shown on recent newscasts.  It is disgusting, horrific and most of all it should be an embarrassment to every resident and especially politicians of this state!  And education leaders of our state wonder why grade averages are so low?  Give all students the same proper learning environment and I am sure their learning skills and test scores will improve.  We must invest in our children!
  • BL, Irmo:
    While I do agree that children should not have to learn where there is sewage and leaking roofs I also believe that the problem in some school districts has more to do with the administration and parents. I moved to Irmo so that my kids could be in a good school district. While we do pay more money for our home and taxes that is not what makes this school distict better. For the most part it is the administration. When you have people who actually care about your children it makes a huge difference. Parents are also involved throughtout the school. The PTO does all kinds of things to raise extra money for the school. While you will always have a difference between high and low income areas this does not have to carry into the schools. Instead of sitting around doing nothing why dont some of the parents go fix that leaking roof or write letters to Inez. It's apparent this has been a problem for a while stop complaining and get involved.
  • LS, Columbia:
    Listen up, people! At least some of you anyway. When the lottery referendum was held there was no working agreement as to what the lottery would fund. My understanding was, and I heard and saw this repeatedly, was that it would be patterned after the Georgia Lottery. The Georgia Lottery provides, for the most part, college scholarships. Each year our legislature seems to increase lottery funding for K-12 so that fully a third of the lottery funds go toward K-12. An additional amount goes toward purchase of new school buses. So, you see, it is an "education" lottery and the funding of school scholarships also is funding education. After all, colleges are schools, right? Our state has decreased funding for colleges greatly and college tuition has increased tremendously in the past few years. We are pricing a lot of our students out of a college education. The lottery should continue to fund college scholarships!
  • JH, Lexington:
    Someone posted that they would rather have a building without all the physical defects than "those shiny new things". While I agree that we need state of the art facilities for our children, how to do expect to reach and teach a high-tech generation with no-tech methods. We are talking about preschoolers who spend hours on nickjr coloring pictures ONLINE of Blue from Blues Clues or Dora the Explorer. If a child grows up with the concept that coloring a picture is something to be done online with a paint pallet and a mouse, how do you expect them to sit down and color a map of the United States once they're in 7th grade? We have to rediscover what it's like to be a child and learn for the first time what it's like to be a child in 2005. We have to put our money towards things that are going to give our child the best education and I am saying that what worked for some of us in 1970 or even what worked for me from 1990-2005 isn't going to work for the upcoming generation.
  • KM, Lexington:
    I could not believe the condition of some of our schools.  Shame on this state for allowing this to happen.  I think it's time for  an investigation into where is all our lottery money going??  In other states you physically see the progress made with lottery money in the form of new schools or additions made to schools.  Also, just wondering...whatever happened to  summer vacation for our students????  We end the school year in mid-spring and go back mid-summer...and for What?? Improve test scores??? It's not working!! Let's get back to Memorial Day to Labor Day summer vacations!!!
  • KB, Chapin:
    I have never understood why our education system is a "district" system. ALL children in South Carolina should have the same education advantage. I say close down the district offices and distribute money state wide.There should be no difference in the education opportunities just because a child lives in a certain district. Tax money and lottery money should be distributed state wide to all schools equally.
  • RP, Columbia:
    I work as an itenerate teacher a local school district. My schools are made up primarly of low SES students.  I truly believe in my students and their ability to succeed. So, no matter what their background,neighborhood, or home is like they can achieve. However, I do agree with the Keenan principal that although with inventive teachers you can make things happen with  what you have, giving students opportunities that could make an extreme difference requires money.  Finally, being in the elementary schools makes me believe that we will eventually have excess money from the lottery in the form of unused scholarships. This would be due to K-12 students who did not recieve the oppurtunities more lottery money could have offered. As a result many students will graduate from our schools with a decent education, but one lacking in many vital and necessary "precollege" expereinces.
  • LJ, Irmo:
    I think that the conditions of some of our South Carolina schools is deplorable.  How can one think that a school that has obvious structural defects can compete with a brand new technologically equipped school? That is like comparing apples to oranges.  The new schools attract the best teachers.  The school that lacks appropriate funding  has to pick from what ever certified teaching staff is left over.  Think about it...look at the teacher vacancy lists...which school districts have the most openings?  I will bet you the openings are in the school districts that really "need" more funding.
  • MG, Lexington:
    I think the financial differences in school districts is outrageous- public education is suppose to be free and fair
  • RN, Lake Wateree:
    If K-12 education is like a train ride, many children in South Carolina “get on board” without a ticket. They end up abandoned at way stations, unable to complete the trip. We owe them a better chance. We can give them that chance by investing in early education – now
  • DS, West Columbia:
    Wow... I am so ashamed to say that i am a resident of a state that can not or will not take care of the schools that house and educate our young people.  I was born and raised in this state.  I left, and sttopid me, I came back... this makes me want to pack my bags and leave. The government of this state needs to get off their bums... and get to the work on the subject that are at top level for the children and citizens of this state.  Sanford and the Lazy twits in the Legislature need to get back in their offices and get this crap done.  They are putting money into things that are really not needing it.  For instance, Lower Rivhalnd HS on Sumter Highway, is gettin alot new renovations and additions.  WHY, when those schools in the districts in the poorer counties are suffering.  Heck No... Get those run down and needing schools the upgrades and additions they need.  Lower Richland will wait.  As these others have for over a centry.  Time for the people of this state to jump on their Representatives and Senators, tell them to get off their lazy bumms and get this work done that the people and children of this state need!  Not what lines their pockets more and more.  Which they are due for a PAY CUT anyway!
  • LN, Winnsboro:
    The public school system is like a novel that begins in the middle. It brings kids in at the age of 5 or 6. But what happens in the earlier years of life helps determine how children engage the school system....if we're to do something serious and positive about helping the K-12 system reach its true potential, that something must involve paying attention to what happens before kindergarten
  • KO, Blackville:
    Thank you for helping to publicize the truth about our public schools.  Twenty years ago, when I began my education career at North High School (in North, SC), our building was in deplorable condition.  One year, part of a student's desk (along with the student)fell through the floor.  Eventually, I became Finance Director of the district.  Everything possible was done to keep the buildings in good condition, but how can you makeup for decades of lack of funding--especially when the district still has extremely limited resources?  I have always lived in a poor, rural district, and I have worked in three of those districts.  I did not want to move away from my home, so I have worked 60 hour weeks for mimimal pay--because I have always worked in poor, rural districts where most administrators have three, four, or more jobs, and no assistance.  (By the way, my B.S., M.Ed., and Ed.S. degrees are all from USC.  I drove back and forth (50 miles each way) for years to be able to earn my degrees from a reputable college.  The stress of being overworked, combined with Gov. Sanford's assault on education, have convinced me to retire and pursue another line of work as soon as I have 28 years in the retirement system. I just hope I can make it for 7 more years.  I have been angry about the difference in the educational opportunities provided for the children in "my district" and similar districts since the first year I taught school. Don't all these children belong to South Carolina?  Why don't people realize that most of "our" children will have to leave our area in order to find a job.  They aren't going to stay here.  They are South Carolinians and Americans, and they deserve to receive an education equivalent to that received by students in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston.  My home district is the fourth poorest in the state--in terms of tax paying ability.  We are doing all we can do.  It is a disgrace that some children receive fewer opportunities and advantages in their education simply because of where they live.  By the way, all South Carolinians should study the history of public education in our state.  SC made its first attempt to provide some measure of equality for poor and rural  districts in 1977--when the Education Finance Act (EFA) was passed. Many of my textbooks were out-of-date, rebound books that schools in the cities no longer needed.  I was fortunate, however; my school was poor but my parents were smart, educated, and caring.  Regardless of what we want to believe, many parents are uneducated and ill-prepared to be parents, and there are some who just don't care.  One more point:  Administrative positions are created because of the unbelievable demands from the state and federal governments to document how every penny is spent, every action that is taken, and every breath that is breathed.  Unless you have worked in one of these jobs, there is no way you would believe what has to be done.  Then we get to hear our legislators and governor put us down on a regular basis.  By the way, for my 60 hours per week and more of work, I am paid the state's lowest legal teacher's daily pay.  In the rural districts, there are many administrators, including even principals, who make very little more.  We do it for the students and dream about our retirement.
  • CP, Orangeburg:
    After viewing The Corridor of Shame on ETV, I, too was ashame. Ashamed of the condition that schools in South Carolina could be in such poor conditions while we spend thousands and thousands of dollars on testing that other states have tried and proven to be true.  According to our  'testing' standards, our students should be in a neat, clean and safe surroind with no distractions for taing test.  How can you justify a student taking a test when it is 95 desgrees inside and outside or 40 inside and outside.  This is not a comfortable condition.  How can you justify a student taking a test when sewage is smelling up the hall ways. How can one concentrate?  Why don't we ask Inez or Sanford to 'spend' a day doing business in one of these schools.  Allendale would be my first pick.  Those who have window offices can sit and say, the school has nothing to do with the performance of the students.  Well, I would like for one of them to go home and have their bathroom running over in their homes or the heat or air go out - how long would it take before it was 'fixed'? One hour, two! Certainly not twenty years later. And lets not get on the subject of businesses going to these poor towns.  The first thing they probably look at is the school.  If you were a CEO of a big company, would you 1) let your children attend this run down schools 2) let the children of your workers and other CEO's attend these schools. I think not.  we need to clean up before we can attract anything.  Remember you can attract more bees with honey than vinegar.  The big guys need to look back at the solutions before throwing the problems out - throwing dirt over the solution just made a bigger problem.  Stop trying to icy the cake before you finish baking it and in this case, the batter is still in the box.
  • JM, Cayce:
    I wonder if our Governor and Mrs. Tennenbaum would allow their children to attend schools in the condition that you have shown, if not then there is definitely a problem that needs to be fixed. The education lottery is exactly that, for education. Put our money where it is supposed to be.
  • KE, Columbia:
    I heard a gentleman during one of your reports comment, and I paraphrase, that "poverty shouldn't limit ability".  It shouldn't...but it does.  When a school district has to beg for supplies from the public or put it's students on used, old transportation which may or may not be completely safe..that is poverty. When the state supports a lottery that lines pockets instead of providing growth in education, as promised, that's poverty.  That kind of poverty limits any child's ability to learn. How can a child excel in a school that doesn't??  How can a child build a future when that child doesn't have the tools?  That's like asking someone to bake a cake and provide the ingredients but no mixing bowl.  The stuff might be there, but without tools, it means nothing. Why are some children going to school in a building over 100 years old?  Why are some children subjected to leaking sewers or leaking roofs?  Why are there rodents sharing classroom space with South Carolina's children?  Does anyone else out there find that absolutely wrong???  South Carolina's public education system is pitiful...plain and simple.  Oh, there are exceptions..for those in those high dollar neighborhoods..but for the kids who don't have that luxury, the system has completely let them down and will continue to do so until someone has a loud enough voice to make a difference..on a statewide level.  Public education in South Carolina, for Joe Average..or a bit below..is pathetic with a capital P.
  • LJ, Irmo
    I think that the conditions of some of our South Carolina schools is deplorable. How can one think that a school that has obvious structural defects can compete with a brand new technologically equipped school? That is like comparing apples to oranges. The new schools attract the best teachers. The school that lacks appropriate funding has to pick from what ever certified teaching staff is left over. Think about it...look at the teacher vacancy lists...which school districts have the most openings? I will bet you the openings are in the school districts that really "need" more funding.
  • RP, Columbia
    I work as an itenerate teacher a local school district. My schools are made up primarly of low SES students. I truly believe in my students and their ability to succeed. So, no matter what their background,neighborhood, or home is like they can achieve. However, I do agree with the Keenan principal that although with inventive teachers you can make things happen with what you have, giving students opportunities that could make an extreme difference requires money. Finally, being in the elementary schools makes me believe that we will eventually have excess money from the lottery in the form of unused scholarships. This would be due to K-12 students who did not recieve the oppurtunities more lottery money could have offered. As a result many students will graduate from our schools with a decent education, but one lacking in many vital and necessary "precollege" expereinces.
  • KB, Chapin
    I have never understood why our education system is a "district" system. ALL children in South Carolina should have the same education advantage. I say close down the district offices and distribute money state wide.There should be no difference in the education opportunities just because a child lives in a certain district. Tax money and lottery money should be distributed state wide to all schools equally.
  • KM, Lexington
    I could not believe the condition of some of our schools. Shame on this state for allowing this to happen. I think it's time for an investigation into where is all our lottery money going?? In other states you physically see the progress made with lottery money in the form of new schools or additions made to schools. Also, just wondering...whatever happened to summer vacation for our students???? We end the school year in mid-spring and go back mid-summer...and for What?? Improve test scores??? It's not working!! Let's get back to Memorial Day to Labor Day summer vacations!!!
  • JH, Lexington
    Someone posted that they would rather have a building without all the physical defects than "those shiny new things". While I agree that we need state of the art facilities for our children, how to do expect to reach and teach a high-tech generation with no-tech methods. We are talking about preschoolers who spend hours on nickjr coloring pictures ONLINE of Blue from Blues Clues or Dora the Explorer. If a child grows up with the concept that coloring a picture is something to be done online with a paint pallet and a mouse, how do you expect them to sit down and color a map of the United States once they're in 7th grade? We have to rediscover what it's like to be a child and learn for the first time what it's like to be a child in 2005. We have to put our money towards things that are going to give our child the best education and I am saying that what worked for some of us in 1970 or even what worked for me from 1990-2005 isn't going to work for the upcoming generation.
  • LS, Columbia
    Listen up, people! At least some of you anyway. When the lottery referendum was held there was no working agreement as to what the lottery would fund. My understanding was, and I heard and saw this repeatedly, was that it would be patterned after the Georgia Lottery. The Georgia Lottery provides, for the most part, college scholarships. Each year our legislature seems to increase lottery funding for K-12 so that fully a third of the lottery funds go toward K-12. An additional amount goes toward purchase of new school buses. So, you see, it is an "education" lottery and the funding of school scholarships also is funding education. After all, colleges are schools, right? Our state has decreased funding for colleges greatly and college tuition has increased tremendously in the past few years. We are pricing a lot of our students out of a college education. The lottery should continue to fund college scholarships!
  • SR, Blythewood:
    Why do we still have delapadated schools in this state when we have an Education Lottery?  I know that the money for the Education lottery goes to college funding.  Why put the cart before the horse? It seems like we should try to give ALL SC children a basic 12th grade education FIRST before we send a few to college. It has to be hard to teach or learn in a school that has holes in the ceiling and bathrooms backing up all the time.  I thank God there are still some dedicated teachers who are willing to work like that and that there are children who still go to school there.
  • JF, Columbia:
    I do believe some S.c schools are better off due to property taxes. I know some people may not agree, but how are children supposed to get an education with a leaky roof over their head. No child can be expected to learn or exceed under those circumstances as Jasper County. How people don't note what kind of cycle it is creating is astounding. Yes, the financially well off students do better because they have computers and the proper materials they need, but how can you expect a kid to learn when they are going to such a bad environment.
  • DC, Winnsboro:
    it would be better if they would eliminate all the local school boards and form a state school board this would eliminate all the unnecessary funds spent on administrative expenses, this money could be spent on renovation and building new schools. it would also give the entire state the same educational experience no matter what the economic area. we should use the top school districts as an examples to follow.
  • ET, Camden
    Craig Melvin's series on education in SC is one of the best i've seen on local news in years. Kudos to WIS for doing some real news for a change. I like the in-depth reporting.
  • KB, Columbia
    I feel that the conditions inside some of our public schools is pitiful. I was under the impression that the SC Education Lottery was supposed to be for school improvement. I am all for using some of the Lottery funds for college scholarships & grants, but you have to get kids through grade school and high school first. I believe that more help should come from the Lottery. Not all communities in SC (especially in rural areas) have a high tax value, therefore funds from property taxes are just not enough.
  • LR, Columbia
    As one respondent said, they have shiny new computers, new labs, etc. and do not have the conditions Abe Lincoln had. That may be true; but I would rather they had a physical building without so much neglect; poor plumbing, lighting, falling ceiling and roofs, etc., than those shiny new things. In this time, those "shiny new things" are a part of our culture, but without the proper physical environment, it is not conducive to studying. A better distribution of tax money and the involvement of everyone, not just the parents, is needed.
  • DR, Columbia
    I find it ironic that each and every school year we hear "ad nausem" about the poor condition of South Carolina's schools. I guess this is yet another chance for the media and print press to beat taxpayers over the head with the guilt trip about how we need to give more money to the education system. After all, if we don't then we're neglecting our children. Please. How come no one ever asks the question of how on earth can this state get so much money for education yet spend it in such a poor way? When is the last time some elected offical demanded an audit of all state school expenditures to find out where all the money is going? When is the last time taxpayers demanded it? When are people en masse going to demand this state start putting light on exactly where our tax dollars are going? Only together can people get answers.
  • GL, Leesville
    I belive lack of discipline would be the down fall to education in our schools. I get this from my own personal experience. I was lazy in school so i did poorly, my peers who worked hard and stayed focus made the better mark. Although we all went to a school that did not have much funding
  • MS, Pelion
    Well, South Carolina has alot of catching up to do on education. For one it is suppose to be a public (free)school,It is not..I have to pay for the kids math and reading materials. I come from Pittsburgh and we never had to pay for that stuff. What about the education lottery? They need to reroute this money to things like paying for school books and building new schools. It is not fair to punish anyone with old, non-working buildings. All kids deserve the best education that they can get but it seems that alot of kids are not getting it. Kids are people too!
  • SG, Blythewood
    I dont understand why we pay school fees when we pay taxes where is the money going .The new blythewood high school has a 3 million dollar football feild and they are buying used buses what is wrong with this picture
  • JF, Turbeville
    I am from Clarendon county, a rural area. I believe that one of the problems that we have here is the administration. I have a five year old in 5K in District 3, he starts school at 8 am and then has to eat lunch two hours later at 10 am. When he gets home in the afternoon, 2:30, he is already hungry enough to eat another meal. I don't understand why they have to have lunch so early. I do understand that it is a small school and that the lunch room is only so big, but what is so hard about getting them in there to have lunch at an actual lunch time? Additionally, the middle school here in Clarendon District 3 isn't allowing the students to have a recess. This includes all middle school students. This is due to some altercations last year. Why are they being punished for something that happened last school year? Why are the good having to pay for what the bad did? I don't believe that the entire school should have to pay for what the few did. It also puts more of a strain on the teachers. The kids aren't being allowed to have a recess to expend some of that energy, which would allow them to concentrate better in class. I just belive that the administration here in Clarendon District 3 is failing our children, as well as the school board.
  • PD, Columbia
    We may not ever have truly equal schools across the state because the better funded districts probably also have more willing and able donors of funds. But the state has an obligation to fund the poorer districts with enough money to provide facilities and equipment to a certain standard. Educate these children well and they'll take care of the future. Don't and we'll be caring for them the rest of their lives.
  • SR, Columbia
    Some needs to get SLED or someone to investigate the Department of education. I think Inez and her croonies are wasting many millions of $$ with their lavish spending and lifestyle and the taxpayers are being screwed over and over again.
  • DH, Columbia
    I watched Craig's report this morning at 6am and was a little distressed at the way the state salary average was thrown up making Ridgeview look so much higher in pay. Craig answered the question of why this is but never put the two together as an explanation. He said that a little over 60% of the teachers were Nationally Board Certified at Ridgeview. The state pays, I believe, $10,000 a year for 10 years any teacher that gets this certification, so of course their salary average would be higher especially with over 60% holding that certification. If all schools had that high a percentage of certified teachers the state average would be a lot higher. The problem is, unless they have changed the rules, the teacher must pay the large amount of money to take the certification test on their own but will get that money back only if they pass it. We are talking a lot of money for a teacher's salary, so many do not take it for fear they might not pass and lose all that money.
  • KM, Columbia
    I was born and raised in Richland School District II and received a top notch education. This district is currently in the process of building new schools and/or rennovating older ones. It broke my heart to see the state of schools in Jasper County, knowing that there are probably many more out there like it. I just wish that the administration in the more prosperous districts would be at least slightly willing to help out a little (i.e., by fixing the plumbing/sewage system)
  • CB, Kingstree
    Everybody wants to know where their tax dollars go because it seems that none of them go to the improvement of our schools.I think you need to take a look at the school district home office.I know that there are secretaries that make more money than school teachers.If they would cut some of the home offices salaries and put that money into the schools then maybe the schools could be improved.It is ridiculous how much the school superintendent makes and does not do jack for the schools to help them.
  • LS, Bennettsville:
    I know from first hand experience how it feels to go to a school that is over 60 years old. When I was in the lower grades in school I attended the exact same school my grandfather, great aunts and uncles, and my father attended. Some of the local public schools around here were built back during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. The schools are most definitely in need of major repairs/and or total reconstruction. Too bad the state and federal governments have enough money to fund exorbitant administration salaries and not school construction projects. As always the students come last, instead of first like they should.
  • LS, Columbia:
    The basic problem of SC schools is that they are teaching down to the level of the students. They are not challenging the students. As for facilities, it is shameful that the poorer counties cannot or will not build adequate facilities. As far the reason, I have no idea. I do know one thing, however. Those counties do have a smaller tax base than the more affluent counties. All of the school districts located within counties should consolidate into a county-wide school district and the state should make sure that each county receives equal funding for the schools.
  • BF, Turbeville:
    Having children that attend public schools in the state of South Carolina, it is a concern that there is such inequality in funding from county to county and district to district.  My state tax dollars offer incentives for industry to locate in South Carolina yet they are directed away from rural areas into more populated areas that benefit from the increased wages of the area residents.  The Education Improvement Act is not working in South Carolina when we are still ranked as low nationally in education as we currently are and it is a poor reflection on our state that no one is attempting to fix this problem except teachers that spend their own pay to get supplies for students in the classroom that the state cannot (or will not) provide.
  • DM, Columbia:
    Fortunately, I live in Richland District 2, which has above-average schools.  However, I would be more than willing for my tax dollars to be distributed equally among all students in the state, in order for those rural counties' children to receive a better education. The conditions in the poorer counties are deplorable.  Hopefully, with the help of the law firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough fighting for the I-95 corridor schools, my hope will be realized.
  • AM, St. Matthews:
    The question of school funding is definitly one of the biggest questions we face today.  There are many different opinions about how the schools should be funded. Basically it seems right now to come down to the haves and the have nots. My questions would be that population breeds growth which leads to investment in turn which leads to more tax money for poorer school districts.  What I would ask the legislature is? Think about why the tax dollars are not in the small rural counties.  Is it because of strcictly small populations who don't pay enough in home property taxes. Or is it because there are not enough large retail and commercial properties that pay the bulk of property taxes anyway.  Where are eveyone in the rural counties spending the bulk of their monies,(TV's,cars,etc.)  Most all of these counties do not have big box stores that bring in more competion that leads to a domino affect on growth and eventually property tax revenues.  We as people think to much about ourselves and not enough about those surrounding us.  Maybe the legislature needs to think about funding the same way they do with some of the local and special option sales taxes.  Where the smaller counties get back a percentage more than they put in based on population and other pertenant formulas.  This is being written by a businessman in a rural county that also went to private school. But I believe in the right of everyone in our state to receive the chance at an education that is fair and equal.
  • KW, Cayce:
    I know it's the beginning of school and you're obliged to do a news piece on the good vs. bad ones, but I'm pretty tired of hearing about the same sad story every year.  Now tell me again why we have a so-called "education" lottery??  I don't care what the gambling money is earmarked for, if any school, anywhere in our state doesn't have what it needs to assure an equal learning environment for all students, then the state's gambling money is obviously going to the wrong "education" fund.  If 30-40% of our high school freshman aren't even making into the 10th grade...then what good is a lottery-based college fund for those who can't even get there?  I have a hard time understanding the logic behind the lottery's purpose when I'm told about manholes in our poorest schools that overflow with sewage.  And I seethe when I think about the very generous salaries of the lottery commission staff and the fact that SC taxpayers foot the bill for a cadre of state-paid counselors whose sole job is to "treat" the self-imposed addiction of gamblers who must think that the last $4 bucks in their pocket is best spent on lottery tickets rather than basic life necessities.
  • WL, Chapin:
    Maybe the condition of our schools wouldn't be so bad if the state didn't pay their fired superintendents an entire years severance pay to the tune of $106,000.  Yes thats one hundred and six THOUSAND dollars all because he didn't do his job properly.  Lets reward him and give him a year off with pay. I have never heard of any other company paying such an enourmous amount of severance pay.  Such outragious spending practices are why south carolina has to buy used buses and double up on bus routes.
  • AH, West Columbia:
    my child is very fortunate to have a great school to go to in a great district. it's kind of in between i guess. i'm not worried about the education that he will receive, but what i have seen on the news makes me sick. these children who go to schools in places like jasper county should be given every single advantage that the children who go to the "better" schools in this state have. no child in any area is better than another just because their parents can afford more. since the poorer areas can't get enough from property taxes then the state should definitely spread the funds around more evenly and the lottery funds should be given to these areas first. our state leaders should be ashamed of the educational situation. how can we expect our children to make something of themselves and have the best futures possible if they don't have the learning tools and environments necessary? i pray that something changes very soon.
  • CF, Sumter:
    Yeah, let's talk about SC schools.  Why is it schools are under construction while students are in session?  Children lose recess time because there are no playgrounds.  Hammering, equipment running and other construction noise.  That's a learning environment there.  Why are our schools buying used "new" buses other states are getting rid of?  Why are
    parents providing school supplies the state should be providing.   It
    seems schools are making stuff up to teach these kids to justify educating to a national level.  I've never heard of "counting on" before.  Give me a break.  Why make things harder?  Yes, some SC schools are falling apart, but the topper is getting a letter saying your child's school did not meet educational standards.
  • PM, West Columbia:
    SC schools need to be more equal.  One way of improving schools in poorer sistricts is to do away with multiple school districts in each county and creating regional school districts to cover multiple counties. That would allow tax revenues to be spread on a more equitable basis and cut the top heavy administration overhead.  The multiple school districts appear to be the last remaining pieces of segregation.
  • DT, West Columbia:
    I can’t believe that the inequity among the school districts in South Carolina comes as news to so many people.  You’d think there once was a time when they were all equal, but if there was I certainly don’t know when.  For that matter, I don’t foresee a day when they ever will be, any more than I can imagine a day when students in South Carolina will have the same advantages as those in states like New York or California. Maybe one day, but I won’t live to see it.  But none of the preceding should be read to imply that I don’t think students in this state can get an adequate education, whatever their circumstance.  I think they can, and the motivated ones do!  I think we hang our hopes too dependently on the material trappings of education, things like shiny new computer labs and libraries, athletic facilities and fine arts complexes.  All these things are nice, but they are not necessary.  I think back to a story I heard as a boy, about Abe Lincoln studying his lessons by the light of the fireplace, and I can’t help but wonder how his school would fare in a WIS-TV report.  For all that old Abe Lincoln may have lacked in advantages, he had one very important advantage that surpasses it all: - motivation - the desire to learn, however long and difficult the task.  If we could find a way to instill that kind of desire in the students of this and every future generation, the inequities among the school districts would hardly matter at all.  On the other hand, without it all the money we throw at schools won’t buy us anything more than high-priced daycare centers.
  • JM, Columbia:
    Coming from Houston Tx to Sc- I agree with most of the
    arguments- the lottery in TX was suppose to fund education and the $$ never seemed to make their way out of the pockets of those receiving to the children in schools.  The idea of a lottery to pay for education really is a great idea- however- it is still an idea. As Tax payers/lottery players- who can give us the information or contacts that we need to have to make the lottery accountable?
  • WW, Columbia:
    The schools in the "corridor of shame" are disgusting.  But, dont blame the people in Richland or Lexington County because we pay monsterous property taxes for these schools. Our children have the IQ of a fencepost but we have nice schools.  For KK of Gaston: Stop looking for a free ride, if the people in the corridor of shame would get off their butts their schools would improve greatly. This is not state dollars that build the nice schools, it is the several thousand dollars a year we pay in school taxes. You probably do not pay taxes at all and expect the same as we have.
  • BD, Ward:
    You know...I get sick and tired of hearing everybody blame the lottery for the shape our public schools are in.  The fact is, if the lottery didn't exist where would the public school system be then?  The exact same place it is now and has been for many years.  I am not trying to condone the way the money from the lottery is spent because I have a good feeling that it is lining plenty of pockets, I am just simply putting its existence into perspective. First of all, the lottery was created to fund education. Now a days you can't get a job without a college education, and you can barely get one then. So colleges get more money to entice students to go to college. The public schools do get money from the lottery, however its not as much. And yes, I agree with the one of the other responses from SS, Cassatt "How are the colleges suppose to get students if they can't get a decent education in elementary, middle and high school." The only answer to that question under the current methods of funding schools would be to hope that the schools that ARE receiving enough money to fully fund and keep their schools up to date will produce enough high quality students to fill the states colleges.  And just forget about everybody else.  While that is clearly not a very good method of thinking, it seems to be the way of thinking among our school leaders. Its all a matter of misuse of funds.   There are a few simple reasons as to why OUR tax dollars are not sufficient enough for our schools. Our tax dollars are being spent in "specific" areas.  It is my belief that all the tax dollars should be pooled and distributed equally.  Standards should be set for EVERY school, and if all of the schools can't meet the standards with the allotted money, that is where other means like the lottery should come into play.  Also, The heads of the school districts get paid too much!  Yes their jobs may be tough, but I don't think some people should be getting paid up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The people that matter the most i.e. the teachers, don't get paid near enough. I have a friend that is a teacher in Aiken County that is having to use money out of his pocket to pay for supplies for the classes he is teaching. Not supplies for the students, but for the class material itself.  So, it is my opinion that until we get control over where the tax dollars are spent, and the people who are spending it, the problem will persist with or without a lottery!
  • AG, Pelion:
    Straight to the point!  Property taxes to fund schools are not the answer anymore. In the counties where poverty is abundant, they have no tax base. Our state and county officials need to make some drastic changes and make them soon. ie: (statewide sales tax instead of property taxes, realign lottery money).  I don’t understand why they can’t see this. Are they dumb? Every child in our school system needs not only support at school but AT HOME TOO. Many times, it is the parents that don’ t care if the child gets an education.  There are many roots to this problems in South Carolina ie: discipline problems (parents
    responsibility) poverty (from being taxed to death), too high of salaries for administrators, and the schools that are being built are being built too fancy. You do not have to have the most expensive to have the newest technology. Many things make up this problem throughout the state and we as citizens better wake up and demand changes if we want a future for our children and generations to come.
  • KK, Gaston:
    I think depending on what county you are in depends on the condition of the school. I saw the coverage of Jasper County schools and was appalled at the conditions at the school. We spend millions on the "rich" neighborhood schools and leave the "poor" schools alone. What's up with that?
  • SS, Cassatt:
    I think that it is ridiculous to let schools get into the shape that they are. We have a lottery but most of the proceeds go to colleges. This is really crazy if you ask me. How are the colleges suppose to get students if they can't get a decent education in elementary, middle and high school. In my opinion that stupid lottery needs to go to public schools. Colleges have money for students. I know this for a fact because I am a recent college graduate myself. There was money for colleges before the lottery came. I do think that the priorities need to be researched a little more. If the lottery went to elementary, middle and high schools, then I would play it. I am not gonna waste my money on it for college students. Help the younger children. South Carolina needs to be a little more like Florida. There are no school supplies to be bought in Florida because the lottery pays for everything. And we wonder why our schools are struggling so bad. I hear about the revenue that the lottery is bringing in to SC but look at our schools. It is killing the taxpayers to keep the schools fixed and it shouldn't be. Sometimes it bothers me to know that I live in a state that has poor schools but excellent colleges. Isn't South Carolina just the best place!!!
  • LB, Elgin:
    Why are some state officials getting pay raises, when sc' children are suffering. I bet their children are going to nice private schools, or even public one with all of the best benefits. Where is the lottery money money going? USC? The children in those awful schools probably dream of going to usc, but knew they will never see a college. I was so discussed with what I saw that I hurt inside.
  • SH, Columbia:
    I believe that with the EAA, No Child Left Behind, and the work over the past decade to improve teacher's pay, expand and improve facilities, that most of the problems with the education chain have been worked on and improved upon. However, nothing has been done to address to parental involvement in their child's education. Without a parent's enphasis on their own child's education, that child is doomed to failure. The standards set at home, regardless of hardships, are what will make the largest difference. From homework, to reading, to bedtimes, to communication with the teachers and schools, parents are the glue of the entire system. Private schools do not work, because of facilities, they work because most parents that send kids there, care about education. When a public school has similar care from it's parents, it always succeeds. There are many Midlands examples, including my alma matter, Dreher, and my children's school, Brennen Elementary. As for money spent per child on schools, look at too many districts with too mnay administrators, and overall inefficiency in spending as in some other government agencies as being key problems. Parents are largely to blame for the large drop-out rates in some schools and for the poor preformance. When someone expects performance, it is usually achieved. Many kids need and want something to be expected of them. Don't we all.
  • SM, Lexington:
    It goes to show that we were all bamboozled by that lottery. Some schools DO get preferential treatment, along with a truckload of grants to keep them "the creme of the crop." Thanks WIS, for showing the whole state the politics of reality.
  • LB, Columbia:
    Why were the bad schools shown on the early news with the achieving ones on the evening news?  What happened to the money from the lottery that was supposed to go to fix schools instead of supplying scholarships to college students that don't need them??  I thought the money was going to be used to repair out state's level of education.  With all the variations of sources available for property taxes and the variation in percentage applied, property tax is a very poor source to depend on to maintain or build schools.  I think it is disgraceful.
  • MB, Irmo:
    I am still wonering why our schools are in such bad shape. The folks that sit in office and keep saying the accountabililty act is whats needed. How can teachers perform their duties when the buildings they are teaching in are unfit for learning. If the environment for learning is not there, how can we expect the teachers to perform at there best. We need to come up with some program to help these school districts get their schools updated.
  • CY, Columbia:
    I've been watching WIS for a LOT of years and I've got to say this is one of the best pieces I've ever seen done there. I wish it could be put together as a one or two hour special and done right after the 7:00 Report the day before the legislature returns to session. The information is astonishing and the questions posed for the possible "fixes" are the things we as citizens of this State REALLY need to be addressing. THIS is the kind of news we as viewers need to be getting. Now, I said all of that, sincerely, to say this. I have felt that for the last several years, WIS NEWS has become "soft". By that I mean that really not much NEWS is being covered, day to day. There have been times when I've seen whole broadcasts that contained way more human interest stories than news like the above mentioned. Human interest stories are good for everybody, make no mistake. But when I turn on the 7 & 11 NEWScasts, I want to be see issues and current event items that affect my city, county, and State, not "feel good" stuff. By my count, you guys have 5am, 6am, 12 noon, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 11:00 shows. Surely you could find a way to divide coverage and have TRUE NEWScasts and then devote other shows to human interest stories. Again, GREAT job on this series. I look forward to more of the same.
  • CP, Columbia:
    Last night Craig said that the best teachers may be in the best schools.  When in fact there is no way to rate teachers other than test scores or National certification neither of which determine a teachers ability.  Test scores are higher in some schools due more to multiple socioeconomic factors than teacher ability i.e. parent involvement.  Some of the best teachers are in the poorest districts.  It is much harder to teach unprepared, poor students with little family structure than to teach a bunch of upper middle class students who know they have to do well.  We pay these dedicated teachers less than those with easier jobs and expect so much more.  The conditions inside our schools will not change until the conditions in our communities change.  You can not have one without the other.
  • JC, Hartsville:
    "No Child Left Behind": are you kidding?  Any child, especially on the elementary level, who has to endure the pitiful conditions that I have seen up close and personal is a legal form of "child abuse". Would DSS assign a child to a foster home with some of the health hazards which are present is some of our schools?  If the richest country on earth can spend a few billion to build new schools in Iraq, then where is the excuse that our own must suffer when they get wet walking through mud puddles on their to half-condemned portables. "NO CHILD LEFT  BEHIND"; what a joke!!
  • SP, Columbia:
    Someone needs to go to jail. Inez Tennenbaum and her drunken sailor spending habits are bankrupting the state education system.  We are spending far too many millions of dollars to have schools like this. Where is the money going should be asked of every politician running for election.  The "corridor of shame" describes the people that live there. They have no right to live where there are very low taxes and demand the same services we are forced to pay for in Richland County. They must work and sacrifice to improve themselves, not demand someone else do it.
  • KK, Gaston
    I think depending on what county you are in depends on the condition of the school. I saw the coverage of Jasper County schools and was appalled at the conditions at the school. We spend millions on the "rich" neighborhood schools and leave the "poor" schools alone. What's up with that?
  • SS, Cassatt
    I think that it is ridiculous to let schools get into the shape that they are. We have a lottery but most of the proceeds go to colleges. This is really crazy if you ask me. How are the colleges suppose to get students if they can't get a decent education in elementary, middle and high school. In my opinion that stupid lottery needs to go to public schools. Colleges have money for students. I know this for a fact because I am a recent college graduate myself. There was money for colleges before the lottery came. I do think that the priorities need to be researched a little more. If the lottery went to elementary, middle and high schools, then I would play it. I am not gonna waste my money on it for college students. Help the younger children. South Carolina needs to be a little more like Florida. There are no school supplies to be bought in Florida because the lottery pays for everything. And we wonder why our schools are struggling so bad. I hear about the revenue that the lottery is bringing in to SC but look at our schools. It is killing the taxpayers to keep the schools fixed and it shouldn't be. Sometimes it bothers me to know that I live in a state that has poor schools but excellent colleges. Isn't South Carolina just the best place!!!
  • LB, Elgin
    Why are some state officials getting pay raises, when sc' children are suffering. I bet their children are going to nice private schools, or even public one with all of the best benefits. Where is the lottery money money going? USC? The children in those awful schools probably dream of going to usc, but knew they will never see a college. I was so discussed with what I saw that I hurt inside.
  • SH, Columbia
    I believe that with the EAA, No Child Left Behind, and the work over the past decade to improve teacher's pay, expand and improve facilities, that most of the problems with the education chain have been worked on and improved upon. However, nothing has been done to address to parental involvement in their child's education. Without a parent's enphasis on their own child's education, that child is doomed to failure. The standards set at home, regardless of hardships, are what will make the largest difference. From homework, to reading, to bedtimes, to communication with the teachers and schools, parents are the glue of the entire system. Private schools do not work, because of facilities, they work because most parents that send kids there, care about education. When a public school has similar care from it's parents, it always succeeds. There are many Midlands examples, including my alma matter, Dreher, and my children's school, Brennen Elementary. As for money spent per child on schools, look at too many districts with too mnay administrators, and overall inefficiency in spending as in some other government agencies as being key problems. Parents are largely to blame for the large drop-out rates in some schools and for the poor preformance. When someone expects performance, it is usually achieved. Many kids need and want something to be expected of them. Don't we all.
  • SM, Lexington
    It goes to show that we were all bamboozled by that lottery. Some schools DO get preferential treatment, along with a truckload of grants to keep them "the creme of the crop." Thanks WIS, for showing the whole state the politics of reality.
  • LB, Columbia
    Why were the bad schools shown on the early news with the achieving ones on the evening news? What happened to the money from the lottery that was supposed to go to fix schools instead of supplying scholarships to college students that don't need them?? I thought the money was going to be used to repair out state's level of education. With all the variations of sources available for property taxes and the variation in percentage applied, property tax is a very poor source to depend on to maintain or build schools. I think it is disgraceful.
  • MB, Irmo
    I am still wonering why our schools are in such bad shape. The folks that sit in office and keep saying the accountabililty act is whats needed. How can teachers perform their duties when the buildings they are teaching in are unfit for learning. If the environment for learning is not there, how can we expect the teachers to perform at there best. We need to come up with some program to help these school districts get their schools updated.
  • CY, Columbia
    I've been watching WIS for a LOT of years and I've got to say this is one of the best pieces I've ever seen done there. I wish it could be put together as a one or two hour special and done right after the 7:00 Report the day before the legislature returns to session. The information is astonishing and the questions posed for the possible "fixes" are the things we as citizens of this State REALLY need to be addressing. THIS is the kind of news we as viewers need to be getting. Now, I said all of that, sincerely, to say this. I have felt that for the last several years, WIS NEWS has become "soft". By that I mean that really not much NEWS is being covered, day to day. There have been times when I've seen whole broadcasts that contained way more human interest stories than news like the above mentioned. Human interest stories are good for everybody, make no mistake. But when I turn on the 7 & 11 NEWScasts, I want to be see issues and current event items that affect my city, county, and State, not "feel good" stuff. By my count, you guys have 5am, 6am, 12 noon, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 11:00 shows. Surely you could find a way to divide coverage and have TRUE NEWScasts and then devote other shows to human interest stories. Again, GREAT job on this series. I look forward to more of the same.
  • CP, Columbia
    Last night Craig said that the best teachers may be in the best schools. When in fact there is no way to rate teachers other than test scores or National certification neither of which determine a teachers ability. Test scores are higher in some schools due more to multiple socioeconomic factors than teacher ability i.e. parent involvement. Some of the best teachers are in the poorest districts. It is much harder to teach unprepared, poor students with little family structure than to teach a bunch of upper middle class students who know they have to do well. We pay these dedicated teachers less than those with easier jobs and expect so much more. The conditions inside our schools will not change until the conditions in our communities change. You can not have one without the other.
  • SP, Columbia
    Someone needs to go to jail. Inez Tennenbaum and her drunken sailor spending habits are bankrupting the state education system. We are spending far too many millions of dollars to have schools like this. Where is the money going should be asked of every politician running for election. The "corridor of shame" describes the people that live there. They have no right to live where there are very low taxes and demand the same services we are forced to pay for in Richland County. They must work and sacrifice to improve themselves, not demand someone else do it.
  • JC, Hartsville
    "No Child Left Behind": are you kidding? Any child, especially on the elementary level, who has to endure the pitiful conditions that I have seen up close and personal is a legal form of "child abuse". Would DSS assign a child to a foster home with some of the health hazards which are present is some of our schools? If the richest country on earth can spend a few billion to build new schools in Iraq, then where is the excuse that our own must suffer when they get wet walking through mud puddles on their to half-condemned portables. "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND"; what a joke!!
  • SR, Lexington:
    Somae of the schools in the state seem to get special treatment, . They may have a "great" football team or high academic grades. I myself don't think it should work like that. Some of us that voted for the "SC Educational Lottery" are still waiting to see the funds distributed EVENLY! I guess where I am going is that we have the lottery why aren't we using it for the kids? Why use it to fund remo, dling of the Govenors house, planting trees on main street, buying only 50 busses (used ones at that.). There is plenty of money there to use for the right reasons. They "wrong" people are getting this money. Now for the last thing. We live in a free school system. So why do we have to pay school fees? It cost me $70.00 for my son to attend White Knoll High School. He is only in the 9th grade. I could sort of see it if he was in drives ed, vocational school , but not the 9th grade. Someone needs to sit back and take notes on where the lottery money is going and the tax money. Why does the counties pay a inflated amount for contractors to do anything? Why don't they take bids and not let the high ups let the "good ole boy" system still rule. I am just a parent that got sucked in by the lottery proposal. Thanks for readi, ng.

  • DH, Leesville:
    Every child deserves three things, unconditional love, the right to feel safe and secure, and the right to be educated. We should band together to help the counties in need. Would we not hesitate to help a school in another state, if their learning environment was in such deplorable conditions.If a state agency building looked like some of these classrooms, we would be outraged. Remember children are our future. They deserve the best we can give.
  • PW, Columbia:
    I feel the money from the lottery should be use to help our public schools, when a student attend a hgher learning school it should be left up to that student to fund there way to that school along with varies grants, I fell the money can be use on public schools but I feel our High / Elementary Schools be getting most of that money, that the impression I got when the Lottery Bill was pass.  I was wrong again, also I feel taxes from all the big business should , be helping thes rual area school along with lottery money.
  • TM, Wagener:
    I am completely appauled at the conditions of these schools. How can you expect our children to learn in such a disgraceful and damaged environment.  The conditions are totally unexceptable.  I would guess if you were to enter a school that the children of our state legislature and government officials attend, they would probably be in the best of conditions with the best of everything.  Children are not responsible for the, financial rating, as it would be, for their family.  They can't help if they live in a lower income bracket than other children.  Yet the upper class, as it is so called, does not have these problems in their schools. We, as parents, continually try to teach our children that all are equal, yet our government is showing them that is not true.  I pray for a great intervention from GOD to strengthen and touch the lives of those affected by this travisty.
  • NM, Columbia:
    I think that kids comming from poverty need to have the same advantages as children from higher income school districts. This takes more money to these schools. These children do not have the same advantages when they enter kindergarden as children of households who have adequate money. They tend not to have adequate skills for entering school and many are behind when they first enter school. The poverty strickened school district areas need more funding for outreach to children before they enter school to get their skills up so they will be ready for kindergarden. They need better schools because how can a child learn to feel self worth when the state doesnt even provide the child with a safe clean place to attend school. I think if the state will not fix the problem by better funding schools who have the roof falling in on them, then groups of kind people in our state may need to volunteer to help fix up these schools. I would volunteer my time.
  • DO, Columbia:
    I hate that so much emphasis is placed on money. If a kid is willing to learn (because he has had that instilled in him by his parents) then he likely will. Those kids that don't do well, often come from homes where school is not valued. Too many "parents" see school as daycare. Money isn't going to change this. Dick Riley raised sales tax 25% 20 years ago, vowing that this would raise us past #50. Over $10,000,000 on that one cent tax later and we're still 50th. Until our politicians realize that parental involvement is more worthwhile than paying school superintendents $100,000+ a year, we will stay where we are. Sadly, I have little confidence that this will be done.
  • DE, Columbia:
    There is no excuse for the schools in this state to be in the sorry shape they are in.  I place the blame on the governors and the legistature.  The money from the so called education lottery is not going where it should be going, to K thru 12.  Instead, it is going to pay raises for school board and college big shots.  It is obscene that these big shots and coaches are paid as much as they are.  The K thru 12 students suffer because of this.  Buying 13 year old used school buses is disgusting.  The state house won't get off their backsides to do what they were elected to do.  Budget cuts and tax reform is all they can come up with.  Every time they cut back, the school board raises school taxes. Just keep on going the way things are now and the only people enrolled in the universitie and colleges will be foreigners and out of state students. The SC students won't be able to afford it and won't be qualified.
  • BJ, Columbia:
    Sad,  Why, where is ALL THAT MONSTROUS CASH for schools from the LOTTERY that the former administration promised would be available for schools and education.  Every penny of the so called EDUCATION LOTTERY needs to be dedicated towards our schools until they are brought up to standards and quite putting it on the back of tax payers by consistantly increasing school taxes as Lexington District 1 does and they have the most modern, expensive , luxury suite schools in the state. Something different needs to be worked out at the State Level to dispense monies for schools based on need not who lives in the richest districts
  • SH, Sumter:
    I was flabbergasted at the condition of the I-95 rural schools. It is amazing that kids and teachers aren't out sick all the time from some of those schools.  Equality in education is a must; otherwise, most of those kids in the poverty schools are destined to failure.  All our children deserve equal education.
  • RB, Columbia:
    It is really sickening to see the condition of some of our schools in S.C. I was not for the lottery but since we have it , the sensible thing to do is use some of the money for schools like these, since most of the people who play the lottery are probably poor looking for something better. Let's give these kids    an opportunity to get an education.  You can't go to college until you're finished with high school.  If someone really wants to go to college they will find a way.
  • RS, Prosperity:
    How can we have some counties building 4 new schools and then have the terrible conditions presented in your report.  Counties with a poor tax base should receive more state funding to compensate.  We absolutely MUST educate ALL of our children equally. I can think of nothing more devastating to the future of a society than to ignore the potential of it's children. Individuals must exercise their right to direct our representatives.  They simply can't be trusted with OUR future. We have their track records to prove it. Unfortunately, its strewn with the wasted minds of our youth.
  • JP, Cayce:
    I feel there are more problems than not with our school funding programs.  The poor districts FEW of the current programs.  In my opinion, there is more waste in the usage of school funding than not.  One of the first areas to look into is the number of Districts we have in the state. Districts cause a big drain in administrative costs.  I feel one of the first steps would be to look at consolidating District based on number of students.  After that, there are more than one hundred other areas of extreme waste.  Almost all of which effect the poorest districts the most.
  • JC, Columbia:
    I bet if the person or persons responsible for the way school funding was spent had their children in the school in Jasper county I bet they would request to have funds to help those kids out. It's because their kids go to the best schools in the state that they don't care about the poor kids. Send their kids to Jasper county and lets see how funding changes.
  • KM, Columbia:
    Several problems with your stories, both last night and tonight. First, you keep showing Jasper County Schools, but only make a side comment about the fact that Jasper County is in the process of building TWO brand-new K-12 schools (you only referenced one last night).  These schools would have already been finished but for a lawsuit by a tax payer that held up the bonds being issued.  Second, as to Dillon 2, you keep showing J.V. Martin, and only show the parts of the school that are no longer in use.  The majority of the campus was built in the 1980s after a fire distroyed a large portion of the school.  Pretty disceptive if you as me.  Why didn't you ask Ray Rogers about the $1 million weight room/coaches office at Dillon High School that was built with bond money? Where are their priorities?  The state can only control so much of what districts do with the money they are given (especially with flexibility). The state is not always the bad guy; at some point, district officials have to be accountable, too.  I think you might want to recheck your revenue figures for Jasper County.  They are one of the fastest growing tax bases in the state. Please get the story right; too much and too many people are counting on you to do so.
  • JR, Columbia:
    I agree that more money is not always the answer but when the buildings are falling apart and the district is not able to fund repairs or replacements the state must fund it. To permit students in buildings that have sewage and leaks and other problems as shown in your news coverage is beyond words. Ask our elected officals to let their children attend these schools. No child should go to schools like this.The Lottery should be used primarily to fund primary education. Funding College is worthless if children are never completing high school due to poor facilities  and failing programs.
  • JP, Columbia
    In this state, a rock could achieve more than the students do. No one cares, the parents, the teachers and students. There is no reason for any student to put any effort into doing anything.
  • MF, Lexington
    I am sure that this problem is an issue across the country. We would be naive to think it is just the South. It is sad but true. As there are homeless across the country etc...etc... your vote counts...we chose the officials to handle our school systems from state to county...so lets make sure we do our part voting when the time comes...and to all those who do not get out and vote during the elections; DON'T COMPLAIN, you gave up that right when you skipped out on voting. And the rest of us will continue to try to vote for the people who will try to work on these issues.
  • ME, Chapin
    I wish that every teacher in Lexington/Richland Dist 5 could see the video shown by WIS of the shameful conditions of schools found throughout the state. Then, maybe they would quit whinning and complaining about how bad things are at their schools. Really! It might also shorten the unnecessary, frivilous items they require on their students' school supply list.Where is the lottery money? All the children in this state deserve a decent education and a decent school to attend. How can we expect the average child to lift himself up unless he can feel good about himself and his environment?
  • LM., Columbia
    I think the school facilities are getting outrageous. These are our children of the future and they have to learn in environments that are just horrible. I see the lottery money going for scholarships but what about for facilitie repairs. It seems the more wealthy schools are getting money for repairs faster than schools that are in poverty.
  • PB, Columbia
    Can't say I am a very smart person, but the one thing I have going for me is good common sense. I still cannot figure out why the education lottery money is going to colleges and university's instead of elementary, middle and high schools. If we do not put money into the lower grades to educate for college then the only ones with the education to go to our colleges are students from out of state. With out adequate schools, teachers, etc. none of our students will qualify. The only students that will have the education to go to out colleges will be from out of state. I am of the opinion that all education money be put into one pot and each child no matter which school they attend receives the same amount of money.
  • GS:
    I really have difficulty in choosing words that describe my feelings toward the horrible condtions as presented in your report. SC owes its citizens, particularly rural citizens, much more than they are getting. Each and everyone of us should contact our representatives and demand immediate attention on the State level to correction of these horrible problems. I also must say that the recent Highway construction funds which provie a bundle of money for that unneccessary bridge over the Santee-Cooper lake be used instead for our schools.
  • LB, Columbia
    I grew up in the "poor rural" area, my school did not even have air conditioning, and the educational material we had was outdated and a lot of it was missing important information. The school was so old you would think the state would have torn it down, but it still remains with air conditioning and a few new windows, but the fact that it remains and the children still go there is what gets me. It was unsafe when I attended I can only imagine what it looks like now, 25 years later. It just goes to show you where the money is going from the lottery, NOT to the "poor rural" areas that need it the most. South Carolina needs to re-think their spending habits, and use it where it is needed and appreciated.
  • JP, Irmo
    Maybe the "corridor of shame" people are not electing good school district people to manage the money they have. Maybe they are not smart enough to make good decisions.
  • TH, Columbia
    What I saw on on the report did not surprise me. About 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to travel the state and speak to students of all age levels in South Carolina School. The schools in the low country were just terrible. They seemed forgotten about. After viewing your report, it is clear that the SC government has done little to nothing to improve the schools in rural SC or those in the areas of poverty. By not doing something about the the way money is distrubted to school districts, we are taching our children that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
  • FD, Irmo
    I guess the question should actually be: What does Inez and Governor Sanford think about the condition of our schools. They are the individuals in charge of these areas? My only comment is where is all of the lottery money going? We report millions of dollars made from the lottery but whose pocket has it ended up in? SC bought used school buses instead of new ones? Some individuals need to be held accountable and it should start with our Governor and Inez.
  • DW, Hopkins
    It is shameful that the residents of South Carolina must rely on a Lottery to provide funds that never get to the intended educational institutions. It is shameful that the poorer counties do not get the same , , benefits as the more advanteged. This just reinforces the backward attitude of the old South. I am shamed to be idetified as aresident of South Carolina. We, as a nation give billions of dollars to the forgien nations and still have communities that do not have running water and inside toilets. Ther are some parts of the U.S. that could pass as a third world country. Why must we have to spend hundreds of dollars as a parent just to provide each student with needed school supplies. Why are the parents not held accountable for the children that create dangerous situations on the state's school buses. So many elements go into the poor school situation. No one wants to step on toes to create an acceptable environment to learn. The students must also take some responsiblity. They are more concerned with how they look than with the content of the classes. Fed UP with Sysem
  • RR, Sumter
    It is very alarming that in this day and time, some of our students are still "behind the times" in education facilities. It is unacceptable for some districts to have an abundance in their conditions and others not. There should be a mandate across the board for all public schools facilities in their up-keep and supplies needed. Not just give to the "haves" and forget about the "have nots".
  • MD, Columbia
    I cried when I saw Craig's report. I had no idea that those schools were in such poor conditon. It's shameful that the state does not fix this problem. With such poor conditions how can you expect children to learn and teacher morale to be high.
  • SC, Columbia
    I agree that s.c. Schools are funded unfairly. I lived in a city in texas more than 20 times the size of columbia, yet they have 1 source of funding..1 school district...1 school start date ect....the only real reason i can see to doas s.c. Does is to keep the money in the areas in which it is "earned"
  • CW, Pelion
    South Carolina in general (government) should step back and take a good look at themselves. No school system in this state should be in the shape that was reported. It's time all government officals stop the wasteful spending state wide and address these problems with the schools. The problem with the poverty level in the state is caused by state government - if the schools can't educate our young people - how do they think people will ever change the poverty level in this state? It's time the state government comes out of the "Dark Ages".
  • RN, Elgin
    It is almost hard to respond to such a question as we constantly see administrators and the like being brought up on charges in the education field. And let us not forget a state with issues such as cdv vs cockfighting. It is clear that affluent counties such as Irmo and Spring Valley will excel those such as Lee county. If we can be honest, lets start with reality. Those who live in areas who have the ear of the decision makers get results. If we were truly serious about equality the state would use its assests to ensure that all students have the same level of opportunity regardless of status. I find it odd that the sc educational lotto has changed little. South Carlonia still holds school supply drives and buys used school busses from other states. The answers are clear its just the human heart that stands in the way. One obvious solution to relief is school uniforms. but agin , the human heart of thoes who have the ear of the decisions makers would never allow thier children to be caught waring such an outfit even if it would have an impact on standards, budget relief of those with lesser incomes and school safety
  • AJ, West Columbia:
    Some of the conditions present should be corrected. It is just not acceptable.  However, regarding to what I think of the public schools in general?  Go check the archives. You will find out that once God and prayer was taken out of schools, that's when America began to crumble. Violence, drugs, and sex reigns in schools and that is not an acceptable way to use my tax dollars nor the rest of everyone else's.
  • GC, Gaston:
    I would love to see the documentary film that provoked this story to be required viewing for ALL SC legislators.  Following that, there should be a question and answer session in each legislator's home district to find out how these schools are still allowed to be used. Having a school with a non-usable science lab is an outrage.
  • TD, Columbia:
    Quite frankly, I see a great disparity between several di, stricts when it comes to quality of education.  However, I don't think "inequality in state money for education" is the problem, but rather a difference in community commitment and involvement in the system itself.  It's about time people stopped being upset about the problem and became part of the solution.
  • PC, Newberry:
    It's shameful that we allow our children to attend, substandered schools, and offer them a substandered education. The key to ending poverty is to educate our children, no matter where they live or what the poverty level in their community. We should be ashamed.
  • AH, , Columbia:
    I was truly amazed when this story came on tonight.  I had just discussed this matter with a co-worker earlier this afternoon and express how it sadden me to know that we can build schools in Columbia and surrounding area at a price tag of $50 Million dollars.  About three weeks ago I saw the documentary on the I-95 Corridar and it really hurt my heart to know that children in South Carolina attend school in such improvish conditions.  Your story tonight really made my heart ache for the children, teacher and adminstrators.  No child should have to be subjected to horrible condition like that.  Instead of South Carolina sending money to forgein countries they need to take care of home first.  Hopefully, something positive will come out of your story.  Craig you are to be commended for doing such an eye opening story.  We need more news like this instead of all the negative stuff we see on the news everyday.
  • LG, Columbia:
    Being a teac, her myself, the deplorable conditions of the schools on the 'corridor of shame' have made me re-evaluate my complaints within the classroom. Often I have complained about not having the highest technology in my own classroom, but my opinion has changed since seeing the WIS piece. Problems such as having to fear a roof caving in on your classroom while teaching makes my complaints seem trivial and inconsequential. I am extremely lucky to be employed in a district were these issues are not a concern. My hat goes off to the teachers who have the dedication to thier feild to continue to teach under these conditions for the sake of thier students!!!
  • DT, West Columbia:
    What a broad question!  I suppose the point of this question is to give people a chance to sound off about specific issues in their own particular school(s).  I’m sure we’ll see a lot of that here.  But while we’re sounding off I hope we remember that the people who are responsible for “the conditions inside South Carolina’s schools” are for the most part well intentioned and doing the best they can with the resources we give them.  And finally, it’s worth remembering that the most important resource the schools have to work with is the students themselves.  But even that resource isn’t all it should be.  The parents of these students bear at least as much responsibility for the outcome of their education as the teachers do.  So I hope we remember these things while we’re sounding off about how bad things are in the state’s schools.
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