school choice gets a voice, s.279 gets a sub-committee hearing

schoolchoice1S.279 is a bill that gives universal school choice. This is the exact language that passed the SC House in 2011. A Senate Finance Committee will have a public hearing on this legislation on August 21st at 10:30 am. The meeting will be in room 105 of the Gressette Building in Columbia.

You may remember that this year’s budget contains an amendment that allows for school choice for exceptional needs children. For the first time in our state’s history, some South Carolina students will have school choice. I sponsored and amendment allowing for South Carolina taxpayers to receive a tax credit matching a contribution to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO’s). These SGO’s will offer scholarships to special needs children for up to $10,000 per year. The credit is capped at 60% of their tax liability. The tax credits are capped at $8 million.

All would agree that special needs children’s education must be individualized and this is very expensive. I would like to extend tax credits for school choice to all children in South Carolina. I am confident that when we hear the success stories from children and their parents, we will get the momentum to expand school choice in South Carolina.