School Choice Introduced in SC Senate
Today, legislation was introduced in the State Senate that will provide families in South Carolina with unprecedented freedom in deciding where they send their children to school.
The bill is patterned on legislation that has been successfully implemented in states like Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Senate Bill 279 provides tax credit-funded scholarships to low-income and special needs students, and modest tax deductions for families with students enrolled in private schools, or who homeschool.
As of 2012, 34 school choice programs exist across the country, with over 200,000 students participating.
Senator Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington), the State Senate's only female member, voiced her eagerness to see South Carolina become the next state to pass school choice. "School choice is the future. Parents love it, and it works. I see state after state passing similar legislation, and want families in South Carolina to have the same opportunity."
Last year, a similar bill passed the House by historic margins, but was not taken up for a roll call vote in the Senate.
Senator Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley), S. 279 lead sponsor, pointed to the need for Senators to take up the bill quickly. "This is a national movement toward freedom, and South Carolina needs to be part of it. Parents know what is best for their children. We need to give them the liberty to act on that when it comes to something as important as education."