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In a stunning act of political kowtowing to the establishment, the South Carolina Senate ignored the will of the people by failing to take H.4894 up for a vote. Instead they chose to spend their time having a group picture taking session to honor retiring senators and their staff. After months of hard work from thousands of activists and dozens of tea party groups, H.4894 was one step from a potential vote. However three senators, John Courson, Larry Martin, and Wes Hayes prevented any debate, allowing for the session to expire, in effect killing the bill. This stunning move shows just how out of touch politicians remain. H.4894 had bi-partisan support, passed the House in historic fashion and, had it become law, would have helped thousands of children escape from failing schools.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which tests 4th and 8th graders in reading and math, South Carolina ranks 50th in the nation with less than 28% of all 4th graders scoring proficient. This begs the question, what on earth are these politicians thinking? If they were elected to serve the people of South Carolina, how could they allow for something like this to happen? The answer we may never know, however what we do know is that South Carolina’s children are being held hostage by the inaction of politicians year after year. For over a decade, activists across South Carolina have been fighting for school choice and education reform. Groups from both sides of the aisle including over 20,000 FreedomWorks members in the state have been working day in and day out to secure a better future for their kids and grandkids. Yet, at the end of the day, their efforts are torpedoed by the neglect of the legislature. Politicians continue to make excuses; no wonder they call the South Carolina Senate, “the place where good bills go to die.”
This year seemed different. With an historic victory in the South Carolina House, H.4894 passed by a fifteen vote margin despite failing by just one vote the year prior. With grassroots support, H.4894 sailed through Senate committees and was scheduled to be debated on the Senate floor with a very real chance of becoming law. That is until the Senate decided to play politics throwing thousands of under privileged and special needs students under the bus. These politicians should be ashamed of themselves and their willful ignorance toward the voters as they heighten their own sense of importance. They are directly to blame for hurting these children and continuing a legacy of excuses inherent in the South Carolina Senate.
So with this in mind, on behalf of myself, FreedomWorks and our activists, the voters of South Carolina and, most importantly, their children, Senators Wes Hayes, John Courson, and Larry Martin, shame on you and shame on the entire South Carolina Senate.