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STUDENT WITH AUTISM RECEIVES TAX CREDIT-FUNDED SCHOLARSHIP

(Anderson, SC) A third grade student with Autism was awarded a grant on Friday, helping the boy’s family send him to Saint Joseph Parish School in the Upstate.

Cameron Horne’s parents transferred him from a local public school in order to place him in a smaller classroom setting and to allow him access to the special services, programs, and strong sense of community found at the Anderson-based Catholic school.

The scholarship money was privately raised through the Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children (ECENC) program, authorized in the South Carolina state budget.

Thanks to the ECENC, special charities called “Scholarship Funding Organizations” (SFOs), award grants to children with exceptional needs. The grants allow these children to attend eligible private schools. Donors to approved SFOs are eligible for South Carolina income tax credits.

Saint Joseph was established in 1967 and is a SACS/AdvancedED accredited school, serving students from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Curriculum at Saint Joseph School is strongly focused on the core academic skills of reading, writing, language, math, science, and social studies.

The check was issued to St. Joe on Cameron’s behalf by Saint Thomas Aquinas, which is one of four SFOs operating in South Carolina and one of three SFOs that has signed the “Access Opportunity Best Practices Pledge.” That voluntary commitment includes a public promise to fundraise, award and administer scholarships in the most efficient, effective, and ethical manner possible. It also holds SFO employees, contractors and volunteers to high professional standards.

Access Opportunity (AOSC) supports families, schools and scholarship providers to realize the promise of parental choice programs. It is a Columbia-based not-for-profit organization, established by the former director of the school choice political lobbying effort. IndependentED.org is the website of AOSC and offers details of the program as well as profiles of all the participating schools and scholarship providers.

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