It truly has been amazing that in the past few weeks, anything negative that’s been in state newspapers on NYC millionaire and school choice fetishist Howard Rich hasn’t made it to SC Hotline, the news aggregator run by Jeff Sewell and Mike Green.
It’s interesting because, while the site has always had a conservative bent, the news and blog stories linked usually were a good amalgamation of what was going on in South Carolina politics. Not anymore, though, Bubba. No, if it doesn’t fit into the very narrow thought process of the Howard Rich clones in this state (or isn’t some hilariously inaccurate analysis on the presidential race), it doesn’t go in.
Which brings us to The Greenville News‘ associate editor Paul Hyde, who has been linked to on a regular basis. But, what about his Wednesday column? Why not, guys?
Could it be the title: “Howie Rich trashes S.C. public education?” Or maybe it was just the whole damn thing, which deserves to be read.
Howie Rich trashes S.C. public education
Posted 8/13/2008 4:28 PM EDT on greenvilleonline.com
Howie Rich, the rich New Yorker who’s trying to buy the S.C. Legislature, hates public education.
At least that’s the impression you get from hearing him speak.
Rich, who spent a half million dollars in our state’s primary election trying to put school voucher advocates in the S.C. Legislature, drips elitist contempt for S.C. public schools.
In a fawning interview (posted on You Tube) with S.C. Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson, Rich describes public education supporters this way:
“The other side is in it for one thing — taxpayer dollars. They love it every year when the Legislature gives them more money for what they call ‘education.'”
What they “call ‘education'”? (In the interview, Rich supplies the quotation marks with his curled fingers.)
Well, that’s a nice slap in the face to 46,000 dedicated and hardworking South Carolina public school teachers, not to mention hundreds of thousands of parents and other supporters public schools.
Contrary to what New Yorker Rich suggests, teachers and administrators in our state do not become educators for the sole purpose of lining their pockets with taxpayer dollars.
On the contrary, most educators dedicate their lives to trying to help 700,000 South Carolina young people become thoughtful citizens and productive members of society.
That’s not “education,” in the sense intended by Rich’s sarcastic quotation marks.
That really IS education, in the most profound sense.
Rich shows his disgust and disrespect for public education and its supporters through name-calling. His favorite labels: the “educrat establishment,” “the opposition,” “the other side” and “the monolithic institution.”
No one disputes that public schools have problems. But South Carolina teachers and administrators deserve better than to have their hard work, sacrifices and commitment dismissed with the sneering contempt that Rich so richly displays.
Has the man ever met a South Carolina teacher?
Does Dawson, the GOP state chairman, and Gov. Mark Sanford — who recently called Rich a “patriot” — really want to align themselves with an extremist who has such a nasty attitude toward public education?
Rich spent a lot of money in the primaries through about two dozen companies. Some South Carolinians are beginning to examine the legality of that.
You can bet Rich plans to spend a lot of money in the general election here.
In the interview, Rich admits to ideological motivations.
“You might call it ideology,” says Rich. “I believe in something strongly and I want to make it happen.”
So much for why Rich wants to impose his will on South Carolina.
But does it matter to Rich what South Carolinians want for their own schools?
Most of us in this state attended public schools. Many of us know teachers and some of us have family members in public education. Many of us have children in the public schools.
We know first hand of the dedication and hard work of educators.
We know also that public education is one of the sturdy pillars of whatever prosperity we as individuals and as a state now enjoy.
Sorry, Howie, but we South Carolinians are not about to roll over and play dead while you trash our public schools.
The only thing that needed to be added was, “We won’t let Rich’s little Joseph Goebbels trash our public schools, either.”
Howie Rich trashes S.C. public education [The Greenville News]