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Sanford Set To Veto Open Enrollment Bill June 19, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.

Sanford Signing


FITSNews – June 19, 2007 – State legislators say S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford is set to veto an open enrollment bill championed by Democratic Superintendent of Education Jim Rex which would provide the illusion of parental options for children in South Carolina but next to nothing in terms of actual school choice. The bill – which would limit school choice within the confines of the public education system (and only at those schools with room to receive new students) – was widely criticized as an effort by Democrats and some Republicans to co-opt the school choice message without actually providing real school choice for our children. In fact, Democratic State Rep. Curtis Brantley referred to the bill as “phantom choice” earlier this year owing to the limited options it would provide to children in rural, low income districts where practically every school is failing.

The Governor’s Office – which does not respond to inquiries made by blogs – was unavailable for comment, but several lawmakers confirmed to FITSNews that members of the governor’s staff have already let them know that a gubernatorial veto is imminent as soon as the bill makes its way out of a legislative conference committee this week. In fact, two legislators who spoke with FITSNews on the condition of anonymity said the governor was openly shoring up support ahead of time in an effort to have supportive members work the floor to sustain his veto.

While we expected the governor to veto this bill, he nonetheless deserves tremendous credit for signaling to legislators ahead of time that he indeed intends to do so. The temptation to cave to the whole “choice in name only” crowd must have been pretty strong on this one, and the politically expedient thing to do would have been to just sign the bill or let it become law without his signature. While we’ve been especially critical of Sanford throughout this legislative session, it’s nice to see him showing some backbone again on behalf of the tens of thousands of poor kids in failing districts who would be left with no choices under this bill, not to mention the tens of thousands of middle class kids whose parents are struggling to make ends meet and provide a quality education for their children at the same time.



1. butthead surfer - June 19, 2007

This is stupid. Give them their “choice” bill and let’s build on it. When the word “choice” is in the public schools maybe that will be easier to get “real” school choice.

Gov. will get overridden and look stupid, AGAIN!

2. G.L. - June 19, 2007

I don’t understand why he would veto this. I agree that it does not go far enough, but it’s a step in the right direction.

3. butthead surfer - June 19, 2007

One small step for Jim Rex, on Giant step towards kicking his ass.

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