update desk

School-choice legislation passes South Carolina vote, heads to the governor

Jason Bedrick, an education policy researcher, also cited similar developments in North Carolina and Oklahoma. 

South Carolina State House. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
South Carolina State House. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The South Carolina House voted on Thursday 74-36 to pass bill S. 39, which creates “education scholarship trust funds” that families can use to pay for educational expenses. The bill now goes to Gov. Henry McMaster.

The legislation provides up to $6,000 annually to low- and middle-income families, which they can use to pay for private-school tuition, textbooks, tutoring, therapies for qualifying students with disabilities, transportation in certain instances and other costs. South Carolina is home to three private Jewish day schools: Addlestone Hebrew Academy (Charleston), Cutler Jewish Day School (Columbia) and Chabad Jewish Academy (Myrtle Beach).

The scholarship will begin with up to 5,000 students, expanding to 15,000 by year three. Medicaid-eligible families will be eligible initially, and after three years, any household with less than $100,000 in annual income will become eligible.

Jason Bedrick, education policy research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, had told JNS earlier that he was confident the bill would pass the South Carolina House. He is also paying attention to developments in North Carolina and Oklahoma.

A North Carolina universal education savings account (ESA) bill, which already passed the state Senate, has sufficient support to pass, overriding the governor’s veto, said Bedrick.

And a compromise bill, which Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has proposed, would provide refundable, personal-use tax credits that would be eligible to become universal over three years. It cleared the state House.

It is encountering some resistance in the Oklahoma senate, said Bedrick, “but the governor has stated that he will veto every single bill they send him until they pass school choice and a tax cut.”

The governor already vetoed a bill, SB 162, on April 26.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates