Writer questions legislators' 'support' of public education

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By The Staff

As an educator, I am quite surprised that Al Simpson, chairman of the S.C. State Board of Education, would deceive the voters of Lancaster County.

In his editorial, "Mulvaney supports public education" in the March 23 edition of The Lancaster News, Simpson said he takes “his service on this board very seriously and spends an enormous amount of time in Columbia."

He also said that "Rep. Mick Mulvaney helped craft legislation that eliminated the dreaded PACT test in our schools."

This is highly inaccurate. House Bill 4662 replaces PACT testing with EMSAP, the Elementary and Middle School Assessment Program. This is just a renaming of PACT. Mr. Simpson would lead parents to believe that the "dreaded" high stakes tests are a thing of the past as a result of Rep. Mulvaney's actions.

It is hard to deny that Rep. Mulvaney has done things while in the House to support public education. The real issue is that Mulvaney, along with Sen. Greg Gregory and Gov. Mark Sanford, has opted not to send their children to public schools. I have always thought that the mark of a true leader is one who leads by example.

It says to me that even though they may "support" public education, with the exception of Sanford, they do not support it enough by putting their children in that system.

Even though Simpson states "we are fortunate to have quality schools in the Lancaster school district." Mulvaney and Gregory do not take advantage of the system. I think that is a justifiable concern.

Charles Vaughan