COPY-State education chief dodges questions about stimulus money

South Carolina Superintendent Dr. Mick Zais refused to answer questions Friday about his refusal to accept $144 million in federal stimulus funds that are supposed to save teachers' jobs.

During a visit to Springfield Elementary School, Zais said he will not reconsider his decision.

"I've been pretty clear on federal funding and I don't need to rehash that," said Zais. "I'm here to visit the schools and talk to the administrators."

The federal money that didn't go to South Carolina went to other states.

Charleston County Schools Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley was on the school tour with Zais. McGinley said Charleston County has used previous stimulus money for literacy programs and that scores have improved.

"I'm an educator, not a politician and I absolutely believe our tax dollars should not be going to other states," said McGinley.

About 50 education supporters held a protest in Columbia last month to urge Zais to reverse his position on the stimulus money, but he didn't budge.

Zais' daughter in law is a second grade teacher at Springfield Elementary School.

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