Looks like Jim Rex faltering gubernatorial candidacy has some friends after all, seeing as how he got the endorsement of 47 school district superintendents.
When one considers that much of education funding comes from the state, the endorsements sounded a lot like drug addicts saying great things about their dealers. We could accuse Rex of having used tax dollars to buy their support, but it's not the first time he's been caught using your tax dollar to advance his political agenda.
In looking at where the endorsements came from, we couldn't help but notice how many of the superintendents come from school districts with low performance and dismal economic situations, such as Bamberg, Barnwell, Clarendon, Dillon and Sumter Counties.
The funniest part of the release was the prominent positioning of the endorsement from Dr. Rose Wilder, the Superintendent for Clarendon School District One, who assured us that "Jim Rex knows how to connect the dots between public education, workforce development, job creation, and growing our economy".
Workforce, jobs and economy - all areas which have thrived while Jim Rex has been superintendent, right?
Considering the track record of Clarendon District One, we were puzzled why he was putting their superintendent front and center in his release.
According to reports, while that district led the state in spending on a per-pupil basis in 2008 ($18,081), two of its 3 elementary and middle schools failed to meet federal Adequate Yearly Progress standards, and the district has been ranked “unsatisfactory” or “below average” since 2003.
If you think that's bad, it gets even better.
This district was investigated in 2001 for bouncing hundreds of checks and having upwards of $1 million missing - and a school board that refused to fire the superintendent responsible for the mess.
It would seem the only thing worse than the Jim Rex record as Education Superintendent is the track record of some of these school districts whose leaders are backing him.