Check out this article (originally from the Wall Street Journal, here) and tell me if you aren't impressed with Rontrell Matthews and with Faye Brown.
Today's WSJ has an update on the story. I'm not sure whether you can access the article without a subscription, so I'll summarize: Since the original article's appearance, Journal readers have donated $32,000 to the school and its students. The school, for the first time, has its bills fully paid, and there's even money left over. One person wants to use a $100,000 inheritance to start an endowment.
Also since the original article was published, the SC State Legislature voted down a school choice bill.
So what can we learn from these stories? Well, apparently it's possible for private schools to succeed where public schools have failed. Apparently money doesn't really make that much of a difference in students' success--Capers has been operating on a shoestring budget and succeeding (at least, based on its SAT scores) while SC public schools have continued failing even while receiving increased funding. (At least, I assume funding has actually been increased; the politicians certainly talk about it enough.)
And apparently those evil capitalist Wall Street Journal readers who have donated money to Capers care more about South Carolina's underprivileged children than the majority of SC state legislators, who refused to pass a bill that would help those children escape their failing public schools.
Or maybe it's not a question of caring; maybe legislators just don't understand basic economics (specifically, the often-beneficial effects of competition in a free market) as well as Journal readers do.
But either way, is anyone else impressed with the good things that can happen when people stop depending on the government and just do something about a problem on their own?