VICTORY: South Carolina Passes Legislation to Teach Constitution in School

VICTORY: South Carolina Passes Legislation to Teach Constitution in School

southcarolina
South Carolina is a solidly red state, with a significant conservative population, evidenced by some of their politicians like Representative Trey Gowdy, Senator Tim Scott, and Governor Nikki Haley.
The state has nullified Obamacare and repealedCommon Core. They are working towards nullifying federal gun control laws, and Governor Haley wants legislation permitting “Constitutional carry“, or the right to carry a gun openly or concealed without need of a license.
They have even sought to ban the use of drones in the skies over their state.
Now the state legislature has engaged in a fight against liberals at two publicly-funded universities that were requiring students to read homosexual-themed books.  After cuttingtheir budgets, funding was restored on condition that the schools teach the Constitution and other documents from the founding of our country, according to Fox News.

State House lawmakers previously had cut funds from two public universities in retaliation for required-reading material containing homosexual themes. A revised budget passed by both the House and the Senate earlier this month, though, restored the money — but dictated that exact amount be spent “forinstruction in the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers, including the study of and devotion to American institutions and ideals.”
The bill restored at least $52,000 for the College of Charleston, and at least $17,000 for USC-Upstate, which were the original amounts cut back in March. The legislation also says that any school that conducts a mandatory readingprogram must provide an alternative in case the chosen book conflicts with any students’ moral or religious beliefs.

Governor Haley reluctantly went along with the Constitutional requirement, expressingreservations about the government interjecting itself in the school’s curriculum.

“I don’t believe legislators should micromanage our boards,” she said, according to The Associated Press. “They elect board members, so if they want to beat up on them, go for it… but to go in there and micromanage books being read, I think that’s out of our purview.”

Liberal groups aren’t satisfied with the compromise though.

The National Coalition Against Censorship, ACLU of South Carolina and other groups said in a statement earlier this week that the new bill is a “symbolic penalty” that is just as troubling as the House’s original proposal.
“It represents unwarranted political interference with academic freedom and undermines the integrity of the higher education system in South Carolina,” the groups said.

The situation came about after the two schools required students to read books with overt homosexual themes, which angered some students and parents that objected to the content of the books.

Republican state Rep. Garry Smith, who introduced the cuts in the House, told FoxNews.com in March he received complaints from constituents who have children at both schools. He said when they or their students objected to the books’ content, they were told they could not read an alternative book.
“I appreciate the issue of freedom and academic freedom and very much support that, but in this case it was very irresponsibly exercised,” he said.
Democratic Rep. James Smith introduced amendments to reverse the cuts in the House, but both failed. Smith told FoxNews.com on Tuesday that he still considers the amended budget a victory for academic freedom.
“It took a lot more effort than it should have, but we feel vindicated,” he said.
“The reality is some of my colleagues need a lesson on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” he said.

This is something of a tricky situation.  While we support academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas, and eschew government control over a school’s curriculum, there is something to be said for publicly-funded schools maintaining a balance in their curriculum that meets and addresses the needs of all the constituents that fund them.
If a school is going to accept and rely on taxpayer money to operate, then taxpayers should have some say in what gets taught at the school.  This legislation provides something of a balance, allowing schools to teach controversial material if they choose, provided they also teach about the Constitution and the founding of the nation.

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VICTORY: South Carolina Passes Legislation to Teach Constitution in School
Ben Marquis
Sun, 15 Jun 2014 22:25:09 GMT

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