FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2023
SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE SENATE DOUBLES DOWN ON EDUCATION
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Today, Senate Republicans passed S. 285, the Academic Choice in Education (ACE) act. The bill permits nonprofit scholarship funding organizations to issue scholarships for qualifying students to cover the educational expenses associated with attending a private school or home school program. Taxpayers may claim contributions to funding organizations against their tax liability.
Senate Republicans today kept their promises to students and taxpayers by passing another major school-choice initiative. The Academic Choice in Education act will fund school choice for thousands of South Carolina students at no cost to the State while reducing burdens on taxpayers.
Senator Tom Davis, who authored the bill stated: “When providers have to compete and consumers are given a choice, the result is a better service at a lower cost. The State’s education system lacks the benefit of this market principle, and today the Senate fixed that.”
Students in public schools, including disadvantaged and exceptional needs children, as well as children in home school programs, are eligible to receive scholarship funding. “South Carolina’s children deserve a robust educational system with options: public, private, parochial, and home schools,” said Senator Sean Bennett, chairman of the subcommittee who heard public testimony on the bill. “Today, the Senate added to State’s toolbox another choice for students and families.”
Majority Leader Shane Massey made clear at the start of the legislative session that education reform is the number one priority for the Senate Republican Caucus. The passage of the ACE act comes on the heels of S. 39, adopted in February, which creates trust funds for low-income families to cover costs associated with sending students to the school of their choice.