Parental choice for schools is gaining momentum in South Carolina. This school year ExceptionalSC provided $12 million of private school tuition for children with exceptional needs—including $53,000 in scholarships for 26 BJA students in addition to parental tuition tax credits, which are not reported to BJA.
ExceptionalSC existed as a proviso (an attachment to the state budget) for 3 years. In June 2018 it became permanent law, and a $10 million scholarship increased to $12 million. The program helps around 2,600 students at an average scholarship of around $5,000. A $2 million parental tuition tax credit has also been extremely popular, with that cap being reached in 20–25 minutes this school year. ExceptionalSC’s website includes details about qualifying for the program as well as an opportunity to be added to an email update list. And let me know if you’d like me to add you to my email list for occasional time-sensitive BJA-specific information related to the program.
A new Educational Savings Account (ESA) program has also been introduced to the SC House. The ESA as proposed would allow parents of eligible students to apply for funds that otherwise would go to the public school that the student would have attended. Would you pray for success and contact your legislator about supporting the program?