We’re not necessarily thrilled with the notion of a stripped-down parental choice bill … however we believe that any legislation which gives any students trapped in our state’s failing public schools a way out is a welcome change from the failed status quo.
Don’t get us wrong … every year that lawmakers refuse to pass a universal choice bill is another year that our state’s increasingly-expensive K-12 monopoly falls further behind the rest of the nation, but we’re not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Anyway, over the vehement objections of the state’s education establishment (which views any choice legislation as a threat to its status quo stranglehold), the S.C. House Ways and Means committee overwhelmingly passed a limited choice bill this week that would help low-income students and children with special educational needs through privately funded scholarships. The legislation also includes modest tax deductions for families who homeschool their children or pay out of pocket for independent schools.
Supporting the legislation were Reps. Rita Allison, Liston Barfield, Kenny Bingham, Bill Herbkersman, Chip Huggins, Chip Limehouse, Dwight Loftis, Jimmy Merrill, Mike Pitts, Gary Simrill, B.R. Skelton, Murrell Smith, Garry Smith and Roland Smith.
Props to all of them … although we certainly hope that each one of these lawmakers sees fits to expand their commitment to choices for all parents in the weeks ahead.
While parental choice advanced in the S.C. House, seventeen State Senators introduced companion legislation in the State Senate – where a group of RINOs defeated a universal bill a year ago at the committee level.
“Freedom in education isn’t just academically effective and economically efficient; it’s also the right thing to do for families,” said S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms, a longtime supporter of expanded parental options.
For a list of the co-sponsors on the Senate bill, click here.