As issues with the State Budget become ironed out, some citizens have begun to question where is all the money really going? Is the money truly going to help South Carolina Citizens or is it going to backroom deals and Legislative pet projects?
Everyone agrees that Education is one of the most important parts of the State Budget. So how much is South Carolina spending on it and who is getting the money? The South Carolina Legislature assigns a lot of money to education but is it going where it needs to?
(Author’s Note: As we examined the state budget we noticed the lack of education in the writing as throughout the budget the word “Personel” was changed to “Personal” which perhaps is more appropriate.)
$5,116,477,909 was allocated in Total Funds for The Department of Education while certain schools that are considered higher education (Colleges and Universities) received higher amounts. These schools also receive tuition from their students for attending.
The Citadel which is considered a private school will receive $154,556,961 of taxpayers money, Clemson University will receive $1,168,580,755 and The University of South Carolina (USC) including all of its outlining campuses will receive $1,528,454,145 on top of the tuition paid by students attending these and other facilities.
As these schools are considered private schools (not Public) should these schools receiving these amounts from taxpayer money?
This does not include all the money that is assigned to go to all the educational oversight commissions and consortiums listed for educational purposes in the state budget.
South Carolina DHEC will receive $652,155,452 and even this is limited for all the services that the department is suppose to be responsible for. South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) will receive $768,383,592, this includes $23,838,336 for Children Services and only $700,000 goes to the Strengthening Families Program.
Child Protective Services will receive $73,129,982 in a total of taxpayer funds, which shows that the state spends more money on separating children from parents than on trying to keep children with their parents. The Foster Care program will receive $48,543,193 and the State Adoption Program will receive $31,295,659.
The Department of Children Advocacy gets a total of $19,461,550, this includes $8,403,733 for Guardian Ad Litems (which are suppose to be paid by the parties involved in the cases; Guardian Ad Litems (GAL’s, are majority wise Attorney’s and Judges). Last year we sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to see who was drawing this money and received no response.
Dept. of Transportation:
The Executive Director Christy Hall of DOT receives a salary of $251,232 (not including perks or benefits) for what some would call doing nothing. Remember her pay was raised 31.5% above the commissions recommended 18.5% last year.
The DOT’s Highway Maintenance Budget looks like this: It will receive $301,080,294 but only $150,000 will go to permanent improvements. Perhaps some of the $2,595,154,130 could go more to fixing the roads in South Carolina instead of increases in Salaries.
The entire budget can be found below in PDF Form.
These are merely some of the questionable financial decisions made by Legislators on the budget. Many South Carolina Citizens have questioned how the money is being spent by the politicians in the past several years. Citizens demand more attention be paid to the educational aspects of our young children and not the higher education facilities. Citizens have voiced their opinions on the road conditions throughout South Carolina for years, but what can you do with $150,000?
Why is there so much money being spent on programs that separate children from parents instead of programs that aid in keeping a family together?
Perhaps the error made on the word “Personal” throughout the budget is more exact than we expect.
This article does not include any of the personal pet projects any Legislator has. Also a separate article containing the Judicial Department Budget breakdown including more on the above-mentioned GAL $8.4 Million will be published.
South Carolina State Budget PDF files: