Hacking, Unemployment, and School District News — Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young – November 20, 2012 to November 26, 2012

The Senate is out of session and will meet for a one day organizational session on Wednesday, December 12 in preparation for the 2013 session. I hope that you find this update helpful and informative.

Unemployment Numbers: Unemployment in Aiken County has declined from 9.0% in October 2011 to 7.3% in October 2012. The statewide average is down during the same period from 10.0% to 8.6%.

Unemployment Numbers Based on Education Level: Several local residents have asked me for data to share with at risk kids in middle and high school about the rates of unemployment for those with and without high school and/or college degrees. To see the latest information from 2011 compiled by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, go here.

School District Shows Improvement: Schools in the Aiken County School District showed improvement according to the latest State Department of Education report card released last week. To see the School District’s press release, go here. To see the State Department of Education’s report card for Aiken County schools, go here. To see the detailed information for each school in Aiken County, go here.

School Districts – Statewide: Statewide, progress was made but the numbers still show that one in four children still do not graduate from high school and one in five children are not reading on grade level in 3rd grade. To see the statewide summary, go here.

Importance of Reading: The above report again shows the importance of reading in student performance. During the past 3 years, I have written wrote several columns in this email update about the importance of reading in the effort to end generational poverty. In addition, I included a report finding that one in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade do not graduate from high school – 4 times the rate of those who can read at grade level in the third grade. This report emphasizes why it is so important for our children to be able to read at grade level by the third grade. To see the report, go here. I appreciate all input that you may have on this important topic.

Latest on Cyber Attack

Mandiant Report: The Governor’s office released a report last week from Mandiant which was hired to determine the extent of the hacking breach; to perform immediate remediation activities; and to develop short and long term remediation plans. The report can be seen here.

Latest from Governor’s Office on Cyber Breach — Notifications Coming from State by Mail or Email: According to Governor Haley, the DOR has now determined whose information was stolen, and impacted resident and non-residents will receive letters of confirmation either by mail or email in the next two weeks. The hacker, who law enforcement authorities said was based in Russia, stole 74.7 gigabytes of data containing information on individual and business tax returns that had been filed electronically since 1998. That information includes Social Security and business ID numbers, bank accounts and credit cards listed on tax returns. The latest report shows that information from 3.8 million individual taxpayers, 1.9 million dependents, 699,900 businesses, 3.3 million bank accounts and 5,000 credit cards was stolen by the hackers. The Governor says that all of the credit card accounts are expired.

DOR Chief Resigns: Last Tuesday, the Governor announced that Jim Etter, executive director of the State Department of Revenue, resigned effective December 31. Governor Haley named William Blume to take over as the new Department head on January 1.

Cyber Attack – Frequently Asked Questions: The Governor’s office prepared two rounds of general Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. To see those, go here and here.

Senior Citizens — Frequently Asked Questions: The Governor’s office also prepared Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for senior citizens. To see those, go here.

How to Place a Security Freeze: To see how to place a security freeze, go here.

Constituent Information

Road Issues: If you see a road problem, call the SCDOT at 641-7665 or Aiken County at 642-1532 to report the problem. If you do not get a prompt response, please let me know at tom@tomyoungforsenate.com or call me. Generally, most paved roads in the County are maintained by SCDOT and are identified on the road sign poles by a small black and white sign listing the road number, such as S-2-1669. Most unpaved roads in the County are maintained by the County.

Thank you for the opportunity and the honor to represent you. Please let me know if I can help you in any way or if you have questions about these or other issues. Your feedback is meaningful and appreciated.

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