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SC: Overwhelming Support For School Choice




They buried it on the internet, but The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper did at least see fit to put the story front and center in its Sunday Metro print editions over the Easter weekend.

The scoop? Overwhelming public support for an issue near and dear to our hearts: School choice.

According to polling data from Winthrop University (leaked exclusively to The State), a compelling majority of South Carolinians approve of “allowing tax deductions for people who donate money to organizations that provide scholarships for children to attend private or religious schools.”

How compelling a majority? A whopping 66.1 percent of Palmetto State residents support such a program – compared to only 26.1 percent who would oppose it. That’s good news for a movement that has struggled in the court of opinion thanks to the local mainstream media’s slavish devotion to the status quo.

The poll – which surveyed 877 South Carolinians from April 6-13 – has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

Ever since its inception seven years ago this website has relentlessly pushed for market-based education reforms – most notably expanded parental choice. Last year, South Carolina lawmakers approved a limited scholarship program in the 2013-14 state budget for students with exceptional needs. Under this program, private individuals and corporations fund these special needs scholarships by making tax credit eligible donations to “Scholarship Funding Organizations,” or “SFOs.”

We believe this program should be expanded – dramatically. And made a part of permanent law.

In fact the only reason that hasn’t happened is the political clout of liberal government-subsidized bureaucratic lobbies like the S.C. Association of School Administrators (SCASA) – whose top executive is actually running for State Superintendent of education this year.

As a “Republican …”

Oh well …

The bottom line here is simple: More people are beginning to recognize the abject failure of South Carolina’s government-run system – which is hands-down the worst state-run education bureaucracy in America. Increasingly, they are ready for real leadership on behalf of real reforms – not more status quo big government.