Apr 5 2012
South Carolina Poised to Join Growing Number of States Offering School Choice
Friedman Foundation applauds efforts of House and Senate leaders
INDIANAPOLIS — With the passage of H. 4894, South Carolina is poised to join a growing list of states that offer school choice for families. Already, 18 states and the District of Columbia give families the freedom to choose an effective education for their children, whether that education is provided by public or private schools, at home, or online.
The proposed legislation, which would establish a tax deduction for schooling expenses, a tax-credit scholarship program for low-income families, and a tax-credit scholarship program for students with special needs, recognizes the importance of giving parents the maximum number of opportunities for children to thrive in educational settings best suited to their needs.
“The Friedman Foundation applauds the historic step taken in the House,” Robert Enlow, President and CEO of the Friedman Foundation, said. “We would like to thank the many legislative leaders in the House who supported the rights of parents to choose schools that work best for their children, including House Speaker Bobby Harrell, Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian White, House Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Rita Allison, and long-time school choice advocate Eric Bedingfield.”
The proposal now moves to debate in the Senate, where Senators have the opportunity to make South Carolina the 19th state to give parents the right to choose an educational environment that motivates and challenges their children.
“Leaders across the state are coming together to improve education by giving parents more options,” Enlow added. “We appreciate the leadership in the Senate of Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, chief sponsor Larry Grooms, and the sponsors on the Senate Finance Committee including Kevin Bryant, Mike Fair, Greg Ryberg, David Thomas, and Danny Verdin.”
As policymakers consider these important issues, it is vital to know the facts. According to recent polls and peer-reviewed research:
A sizeable majority of parents, particularly low- and middle-income parents, want more options for their children.
Studies show that children receiving scholarships achieve more (they perform marginally better on standardized tests) and attain more (they are more than 20 percent more likely to graduate).
20 out of 21 studies find that school choice helps traditional public schools improve. No empirical studies find school choice harms public schools.
State-sponsored evaluations in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Florida find that school choice programs save money and are a better use of taxpayer funds.
About the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, solely dedicated to advancing Milton and Rose Friedman’s vision of school choice for all children. First established as the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation in 1996, the Foundation continues to promote school choice as the most effective and equitable way to improve the quality of K-12 education in America. The Foundation is dedicated to research, education, and outreach on the vital issues and implications related to choice and competition in K-12 education.