School Choice Vote TODAY
South Carolina’s House of Representatives will vote on school choice today!
The bill, a compromise plan that targets support to low-income families and students with disabilities, includes tax credit funded scholarships and tuition tax deductions.
The legislation is premised on the simple truth that parents have the most information, and best motivation, to make educational decisions for their own sons and daughters. Its’ design is based on long standing choice programs in other states that have supported parental engagement in education for thousands of children over the last decade. These programs have increased student achievement, spurred parental engagement and reduced student inequality without siphoning resources away from the traditional public schools.
“The time has come to make school choice a reality in South Carolina,” explained Senator Jim DeMint in a message to school choice activists rallying in the Upstate earlier this year. “If we want true innovation in education, in order to meet a wide range of student interests and aptitudes, then we must make school choice available to families in America.”
Government reports from Florida indicate that state’s school choice program –a major influence on the design of the South Carolina plan– provides a net savings to all taxpayers. The size of tax credit funded scholarships for low-income students there is much smaller than the cost to educate those students in the traditional public school districts.
Nationally there are now independent school choice programs operating in over twenty states. These include a special education program in North Carolina and both special needs and universal choice programs in Georgia.