COLUMBIA (WACH) - South Carolina received an average score in a new Education Law study that judged states on how much money they direct to their neediest schools.
However " Neil Mellen with South Carolinians for Responsible Government says while the funding may be there, it isn TMt getting to where it TMs really needed."Studies of school funding don TMt address school spending. So while South Carolina may budget schools at 11 or 12 thousand dollars a child, the real issue is spending because only 44 cents of each of those dollars reaches the classroom," said Mellen.According to a new report issued by the state TMs Budget and Control Board, South Carolina TMs 85 public school districts spent more than $8 billion in 2009.That TMs an increase of $400 million from the year before " but Mellen said less than half of that money was actually spent on instruction.
"The money is being spent, but it's not going to teachers and students in the classroom," said Mellen.
Mellen said officials with the State Department of Education have claimed that public schools are spending 71, not 44, cents per dollar in the classroom.
However Mellen says their calculations exclude the money spent on other things. "A huge amount of the money is going to large, expensive, lavish new buildings, interest on debt to pay for those buildings, and frankly to the administration," said Mellen.
And Mellen said - things will continue to get worse until more focus is put on spending and less on funding.