Who Runs South Carolina State Government?

POLITICIANS YOU DIDN’T VOTE FOR. THAT’S WHO. From education to road funding, from the judicial system to your electric bill, the important decisions are made by state lawmakers who represent only their districts. Most South Carolinians don’t vote for them – or even know their names. So when your power bill goes up again, or […]

Why USC’s Budget Proviso Is Unconstitutional

SOUTH CAROLINA’S FLAGSHIP UNIVERSITY GOES AROUND THE LAW Recently the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education found itself the subject of debate in newspapers and on the Senate floor. A quick background: In many other states, some board or agency – usually a board of regents – has power to govern the state’s system of […]

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An “Enterprise Division” for Clemson?

  IT’S ALL ABOUT POWER (A LOT OF IT) AND ACCOUNTABILITY (NONE OF IT) Last week, we posted a brief analysis of S.535, legislation that would create a murky new government entity called an “Enterprise Division” at Clemson University. The bill, in short, is a grossly misguided attempt to give vast powers to a government […]

University Funding Up, Graduation Rates Down

OR: WHERE’S ALL THAT MONEY GOING, ANYWAY? State agencies submitted their budget requests earlier this month, as state law requires, and all but one higher education institution that submitted a budget requested increases. That’s not surprising, since state-supported colleges and universities have seen cuts in their General Fund budgets since the Great Recession began – […]

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Construction at the Clyburn Center

The Clyburn Center Mess: A Multimillion Dollar Catastrophe

The James E. Clyburn University Transportation Research and Conference Center at South Carolina State University is a $107 million dollar project. The complex was intended to serve as a transportation research center, a research facility for large trucks, the archive of James Clyburn’s papers, and a garage for Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority’s bus fleet. However, two reports, one by the Charleston Post and Courier and one by the Legislative Audit Council, reveal the incredible extent of the Clyburn Center’s failure. The project is sputtering along with no viable funding plan, delayed construction, and poor oversight. The story of the Clyburn Center is a melancholy illustration of the fact that federal money isn’t “free” money: indeed, in many cases it costs the state millions of wasted tax dollars.

How Higher Tuition Translates into More Debt for State Universities

The S.C. Budget and Control Board recently announced a moratorium halting construction at four-year public institutions that raised tuition by 7 percent or more for the 2010-2011 school year.

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Higher Education in South Carolina: Cut Administrative Costs and Focus on Student Performance

While South Carolinians can take pride in our state’s higher educational system, costs and tuition have skyrocketed in recent years, even as graduation rates remain below 40 percent. At the same time, South Carolina’s leading universities have been drawn away from their core mission and increasingly become conduits for the Legislature’s economic development plans. The solution is to refocus on student performance, cut administrative costs and look to innovative technology that will improve both access and affordability.

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An Analysis of 2010 SAT Scores, Part II

This is the final report in our ongoing analysis of the state’s 2010 SAT scores.

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Improved Access No Excuse for Lower Scores: How S.C. Compares to Other States

Last week, the S.C. Department of Education almost suggested the state’s second-lowest-in-the-nation SAT score was excused by increased participation rates. At the very least, let’s say they focused on increased “access,” instead of addressing why the state’s scores fell for the second year in a row.

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Contrary to DOE Claims, SAT Participation Rate Falls for 2010

Fewer South Carolina students took the SAT in 2010 than in 2009, as participation rates for African-American and white students fell. This finding raises questions about the S.C. Department of Education’s claim that “South Carolina is doing dramatically better with access … as more minority and low-income students are aiming for college.”

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