This article was originally published in print in Parent News magazine…
Many of you may not realize, but there’s a very important school choice bill making its way through the South Carolina legislature. It’s a great idea, not just for homeschoolers, but for parents of any type who’d like more input into their child’s education.
The bill primarily supports low-income students and children with special educational needs through privately funded scholarships. Modest tax deductions for families who homeschool their children or pay out of pocket for independent schools are also part of the plan.
“Parents have always had the most information and the best motivation to make decisions for their own children,” explained Senator Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley), the legislation’s lead sponsor. “Freedom in education isn’t just academically effective and economically efficient; it’s also the right thing to do for families.” Senator Grooms reiterated his long standing belief that parental engagement is the most important part of education reform. “There are 15,000 low-income students in private schools in South Carolina,” explained Grooms.
“Their parents are really sacrificing to keep their sons and daughters enrolled in the school they believe is best for that child. Those same parents pay over $8 million in state income taxes each year, but save the state $72 million in public school spending. There is a total disconnect here.”
Other states such as North Carolina and Georgia have recently encated similar laws with great success. Our local dentist Senator Ray Cleary is in support of the bill. I hope it passes, as it will be a great benefit to many families across the state.