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Governor Dick Riley Joins Team Rex

(PRWEB) September 8, 2006 -- Former South Carolina Governor and US Secretary of Education
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 Dick Riley announced his endorsement of Jim Rex in the race for State Superintendent of Education
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 today at a news conference in Greenville.

 “  Choice within the public school system is a good thing, and I support that.  
“I am proud to lend my support to Jim Rex,” said Riley, “and I will be doing all I can to ensure his election in November. He’s a former high school
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 teacher, football coach, and college president, and he has the experience we need to lead real reform of South Carolina’s schools.”

Riley cited his work with Jim Rex during his two terms as South Carolina’s Governor and his innovative approaches to attracting new teachers to the education profession, including the creation of the state’s teacher cadet and alternative certification programs, as a top reason for endorsing Rex’s candidacy.

“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of a man who has spent his entire career making a positive difference for the children, families, schools, and communities of our state and nation,” said Rex. “There’s no one with a more stellar record on the issues affecting our children and their learning, and I am so proud to have him on my team.”

Rex outlined his top priorities for those gathered for the news conference at Greenville’s McAlister Square, the site of the University Center, an innovative partnership designed to create a “one-stop shopping” experience for those seeking to enhance their education, no matter what stage in life they choose to do so.

“It’s just this type of innovation that we need to replicate all across South Carolina,” said Rex, “and that’s exactly what I plan to do when I’m State Superintendent of Education. We need comprehensive reform that is based on innovation. We must give our teachers and schools the freedom and flexibility they need to bring dramatic change to our schools. We must encourage and support creative approaches – and when they work, duplicate them throughout the state. And let me add that at a time when we are demanding greater accountability from our kids with more and more testing, I think we also need to be sure we have enough accountability from our school administrators to be sure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely.”

Rex vowed to fight any proposal that would rob South Carolina’s public schools of the resources they need through a system of vouchers or tax credits, particularly because such a plan would require a massive tax increase on the people of South Carolina.

“There are those who believe that it’s time to give up – to abandon our public schools and turn our future over to an unproven, unaccountable and unaffordable system of vouchers and tax credits. But let me be clear. I oppose vouchers, and I oppose using our children’s future as a political football. Choice within the public school system is a good thing, and I support that. But when we are talking about taking half a billion of our tax dollars out of the public schools and giving it to private schools, I draw the line.”

Rex concluded: “I am running for State Superintendent of Education to put an end to playing political games with our schools and to get real results. I believe that with my record of making tough financial decisions and my plan for comprehensive reform, we can have the right kind of reform. We can do right by our kids and our taxpayers and deliver on the promise of a world class educational system.


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