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school choice

  • The South Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, heard arguments over a state law that offers families meeting certain poverty thresholds public money to pay for private school tuition, among other education-related needs.
  • South Carolina's governor has signed a bill into law that will eventually allow up to 15,000 students in the state to use public money for private schools. Thursday's bill signing capped a nearly 20-year effort that ran through three governors, four House speakers and five education superintendents. The new law is set to start in the fall of 2024. It establishes what are called education scholarship accounts. Parents and guardians can get up to $6,000 a year to pay for tuition, transportation, supplies or technology at either private schools or public schools outside their district. The program will eventually expand to about 15,000 students and to families that make $120,000 or less a year.
  • With just six legislative days remaining in this year’s session of the General Assembly, Republican lawmakers are scrambling to pass as much of their agenda as possible. This week they claimed a long-sought victory for school choice but saw a new restrictive abortion bill scuttled in the State Senate.
  • The South Carolina House has given key approval to an education voucher bill. Wednesday's vote likely clears the way for up to 15,000 students to be able to use public money for private school tuition. The bill passed on a 79-35 vote and will soon head to Gov. Henry McMaster who has promised to sign it. The bill establishes education scholarship accounts. Parents and guardians can get up to $6,000 a year to pay for tuition, transportation, supplies or technology at either private schools or public schools outside their district.
  • South Carolina House lawmakers want to give voters the chance to repeal a constitutional prohibition on funding private educational institutions with public dollars. The effort comes amid a conservative push nationwide for taxpayer-funded "school choice" programs helping parents pay for private schools. If the change gets two-thirds support in the Senate, voters will have the opportunity to strike the amendment in a referendum during the next general election.
  • For the last twenty years, school choice advocates have been pushing to enact a law that would allow parents to use state tax dollars to send their children to private or religious schools. Public school supporters have long resisted the idea claiming such a program would hurt public schools.This year the Republican controlled General Assembly appears to be on the verge of establishing a school-voucher program.
  • The South Carolina Senate has passed a bill establishing education scholarship accounts. The measure creates $6,000 vouchers funded by public tax money intended to help cover the cost of K-12 private school tuition and other expenses. The move brings South Carolina one step closer to enacting a long-sought Republican priority that has seen a revived push nationwide in other GOP-led legislatures.
  • The South Carolina Senate is debating a bill that would give some poorer or disabled students money so they could pick a private school or public school outside their district. The bill provides up to $6,000 in state money each year. Along with tuition, the money could also go toward textbooks, materials, education services or equipment for disabled students. The program would be limited to students whose family income is low enough to make them eligible for Medicaid and students with disabilities. The program would be limited to 15,000 students. Opponents say the money could be better spent improving public schools for all.
  • Leaders in the South Carolina House appear to be pushing their own bill to give poorer parents money to pay tuition at private schools. A House subcommittee approved a bill Tuesday that would create a three-year program to give $5,000 in tuition assistance to 5,000 students whose families are eligible for Medicaid or who have parents in the military. The money can only be spent for tuition fees or books. A Senate subcommittee is considering its own voucher bill, which would allow parents to spend up to about $7,000 of public school money on private schools as well as tutoring, equipment or other needs.