Improving accessibility to Higher Education in South Carolina?

Some very good points are raised in yesterday's editorial in The State about the problems of higher education costs and how the "education" lottery is reducing accessibility for many South Carolinians:

Each increase in tuition puts a college education farther out of reach of the students who don’t receive a scholarship. As important as it is to encourage and reward our best students, we cannot afford to leave behind our decent students who fall just below the scholarship cut-off. They gain every bit as much as scholarship recipients from a college education, if not more: There’s such a strong correlation between high school performance and family income that for many recipients, the scholarship simply makes paying for college a little easier. But for less-affluent students, no scholarship means no college: A report earlier this year found South Carolina had one of the largest gaps in the nation between the portion of our richest and poorest kids who attend college. When kids don’t receive some sort of higher education, our state’s economic vitality suffers.

We were warned that the lottery would have a redistributive effect, in which money would flow from those least likely to receive benefits to those most likely. In effect, a Democratic governor did with the lottery what Republicans are always accused of doing: taking from the poor to give to the rich. Now, we are seeing this prediction become a stark and divisive reality.

In a state where one of our biggest handicaps is the education level of our workforce, and where many of the best of the new jobs that come here snatched up by those transferred or recruited from out of state, we can't afford to continue to move backwards on this issue.

As to the issue of duplication and turf in higher education, there is certainly plenty of it. While you'd think with 80 separate campuses, we could make higher education more affordable, we've only made it more expensive.

Which of these facilities are most wasteful, and which actually make sense? Stay tuned for the spring road trip of some of South Carolina's higher education facilities where we'll help find the ones we need, and the ones we don't.

3 Response to "Improving accessibility to Higher Education in South Carolina?"

  1. west_rhino 3/1/07 09:57
    But Earl, the "education" lottery is one of the wheelchair ramps to the hearts of sucker, er soccer moms that vote.

    Yes there is duplication, we have too many Egnlish 097, 098, 099 and 100 courses and a system founded on the notion that you have to have an education degree to teach, not a degree in the area you're teaching, unless you're teaching at the collegiate level. Ditto the number of courses in revisionist history written by the hate America first crowd. Some of the duplication though, is an almost a learned Pavolvian response, akin to a me too! We have a few unique curricula, Forensic Sceince at Newberry College, Medical Physics at SC State, Health Physics at Francis Marion, Nuclear Lab Medicine at Midlands Tech and had a few, e.g. Radiation Therapy at MUSC and culinary arts at Johnson and Wales that went underappreciated and in J&W's case duplicated in part by Trident Tech yanking support from a prestigious neighbor.

    Leadership is needed here and we continue to elect party hacks and squander how many dollars from lobbys that are more interested in keeping education school grads in a dues paying status. I pray that some of them will at least, when that day of reckoning comes, will hear "Well done, my good and faithful servant," they'd best be glad I'm not sitting in judgement with my current perspective.
  2. Anonymous 4/1/07 21:19
    and you're a republican?
  3. Moye 6/1/07 14:37
    As I said so many times the lottery is just another tax on poor people.

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