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Homeschooler Participation Needed - SC to Introduce School Choice Legislation
by CHEFS Admin - Saturday, 28 February 2009, 3:54 PM
 
The time has come for each of us to contact our state representatives and state senators and let them know that we want parents in South Carolina to have a choice as to where their students attend school. It is so wrong to compel parents to send their children to failing or unsafe schools, but many have no other option. It is also wrong to make parents pay twice for the education of their children, once for the public schools and again for the education which matches their educational philosophy and/or better meets their children’s educational needs. School choice legislation will soon be introduced that, if passed, would allow parents to claim a credit against their state tax liability or that would make scholarships available through private donors so that choice would become a viable option to all.

The upcoming bill will provide a tax credit to home-school parents of up to $1,000 per child. Home School Legal Defense Association has studied the bill to be sure that it would in no way infringe on current home-school freedoms and rights. Its lawyer, Dewitt Black, offered amendments to the bill to make it acceptable and all were adopted. The bill is, therefore, something that home-school families can wholeheartedly endorse.

We need to take the time now to write, call, and/or personally visit our legislators. We need to tell them we want them to support school choice and ask if we can count on their votes. The bill has not yet been introduced, but they know it is coming. We may verify the names of those who represent us by going to http://www.scstatehouse.gov/. In the left toolbar, we click on “Find Your Legislator,” enter our zip codes then our legislators will be displayed. Click on “Your South Carolina State Senator’s” name and on “Your South Carolina State Representative’s” name and their contact information will appear.

It DOES make a difference for our legislators to hear from us. A family trip to the Statehouse to personally visit with our senator and representative would be an incredible field trip. The best times are Tuesdays from 11:30-1:00, Wednesdays from 10:00-12:00, and Thursdays from 10:00-12:00. At the Statehouse, we should go to the large desks outside the chamber of the House of Representatives and the chamber of the Senate and fill out a card asking for our representative or senator to come speak with us. The cards will be taken to them in the chambers and they will come out to speak with us.

Our main concern should be for parental liberty and educational justice, but we will need to counter objections which will be raised regarding funding. The bottom line is that this bill will save the State of South Carolina huge sums of money. The current average per pupil expenditure in South Carolina public schools is over $11,000. The State’s portion of this averages approximately $5,000. Proposed tax credits will be (with the exception of special needs students) no more than half this amount. The State will receive fewer tax dollars but the State’s expenses for those students who leave the system and for whom a tax credit is claimed will be cut by at least twice the amount of the tax credit. The public schools will have fewer students but the same money per student to educate the students who remain.

Please, let’s all get involved by contacting our legislators and also getting our support groups involved.

We CAN make a difference,
Kathleen W. Carper, President, SCAIHS



If you live in or near the Spartanburg or York Counties, make plans to attend one of the following Town Hall Meetings. Come hear more about the upcoming bill. Learn how it will benefit you and the State and get answers to your questions. The public is invited so bring all your family and friends.

SPARTANBURG COUNTY
Thursday, March 5th
Merryland Child Development Center
95 Ashley Street, Spartanburg
7:00 p.m.


YORK COUNTY
Tuesday, March 10th
Beef O’Brady’s
940 Market Street, Fort Mill
7:00 p.m.