The “little girl who goes to public school in Dillon” is still hoping.

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At about the 3:05 mark in this well known video:

Obama references “the little girl who goes to public school in Dillon,” and he means Dillon, South Carolina, part of the Corridor of Shame (click link to view trailer).

On November 2, 1993 attorneys representing 29 S.C. school districts filed a lawsuit against the State of South Carolina alleging that the 1977 formula the SC Legislature uses to distribute money for education is unfair to rural and poor schools. Sixteen years later, there has been no resolution of this dispute. A local newspaper reports:

When the first school bell of the year rings today in Dillon 1, superintendent Steve Laird will have a heavy heart.

For 16 years, Laird has been part of a lawsuit : along with 35 other poor, rural school districts : contending the state should provide extra money to pay for academic aid for students living in poverty.

This summer marks a year since the case was heard by the state Supreme Court on appeal.

The court has no deadline to rule on whether South Carolina provides its poor, rural school districts with enough money to ensure their students get the same constitutionally guaranteed,”minimally adequate”education as students in wealthier S.C. communities.

Until the high court rules, Laird will keep hoping.

“It’s been a long fight,”Laird said.”I never had any idea it would go on this long.

“It’s very difficult when I drive through Anderson or Spartanburg and see those (new) schools and know my children have to compete with those students.”

Others are waiting too, including the state Legislature, which could find itself forced to find millions more for rural schools if they prevail. …

Here is an account of Obama’s visit to Dillon SC in January of 2008:

That little girl in Dillon goes back to school today. She needs change.

–Ann Bartow

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One Response to The “little girl who goes to public school in Dillon” is still hoping.

  1. Barbara Burke says:

    Chilling is the only word to describe the Corridor of Shame trailer. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I teach in one of the most impoverished districts in Brooklyn. Yet, it does not compare at all to the degrading conditions the children and teachers of this South Carolina area must face. “Savage inequalities” Kozol called it. How apt.

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