To the editor:
I’ve been reading the news, and it appears that Gov. Haley has done an end run around our legislature’s budget. The article was on cbsnews.com.
In the article it said that teachers in South Carolina had finally gotten a 3 percent raise after four years with nothing, and along with that, their contribution to their retirement plan would go up 1.5 percent.
Money for an increased insurance premium had been approved by our elected legislators, and the Budget and Control Board should have approved this item without a hitch. It seems that Gov. Haley, along with the Treasurer and the State Comptroller (as part of the Budget and Control Board), chose to ignore what our legislators had passed. They took $5.8 million away from the $20.6 million allotted by the budget for the insurance increase. With this change the teachers’ insurance will now go up by 4.6 percent.
Looking at the 3 percent raise minus the 1.5 percent contribution to their retirement fund and minus the 4.6 percent increase in their insurance, it appears that they have done it again to the teachers; the legislators have given with one hand and she has taken away with the other. That’s not much of a raise.
Now it appears that the state may be sued and the Speaker of the House expects them to lose. I don’t know the cost, but I bet it’s not free and I bet we pay for it.
In May of 2010, Gov. Haley said, “We owe it to every child in this state, no matter where they live, to make their education a priority and that means completely reforming our education funding formula.”
If this is an example of your educational funding formula, I don’t know anybody who cares for it. I think everyone in South Carolina wants education as a priority, and no matter what anyone says, we have some of the best teachers anywhere. Our teachers deserve priority, too.
Gov. Haley, with all due respect, I would ask that you rescind your vote on the 4.6 percent increase in insurance premiums.