January 20, 2023

Charleston City Paper Editorial Board: Legislature should abandon unfair school voucher scheme

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In South Carolina, the attempt is under way to once again launch a school voucher program. The editorial board at Charleston City Paper has a pretty clear handle on what vouchers actually mean.

Here we go again with school vouchers. Conservatives at the Statehouse again are hellbent in approving vouchers, conveniently now called “education scholarship accounts,” to steal public education dollars to allow some K-12 students to get up to $6,000 to pay for private schools.

Think of it as the South Carolina Private School Subsidy Act.

Let’s be clear: Stealing public education money for private schools is wrong and will only erode funding for public schools more, sending them into a slow downward spiral that takes away much-needed resources to help them thrive. Stealing money from a public school system that has suffered from decades of underinvestment is a slap in the face to hundreds of thousands of students and parents who depend on public education to generate opportunities for better lives.

It’s a taxpayer handout to folks that don’t need it at the expense of those who want and need good public schools.

As the S.C. Education Association’s Sherry East reminded us, the proposal won’t help most children in South Carolina schools.

“Cloaked in language like ‘choice’ and ‘scholarship,’ this bill attempts to create the illusion that it is providing opportunity,” she said. “However, the reality of the bill removes opportunity from many children by taking sorely needed funds from the schools and institutions that must accept, welcome and educate all children.”

Republicans have been trying since Mark Sanford was governor to pass this elitist proposal to help South Carolina’s wealthier parents to the detriment of just about everyone else.

Read the full editorial here. 

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