Help stop S.414 and H.3407 — state funding for private schools

Again, thank you to those who contacted legislators concerning H.3241 on South Carolina Charter School District funding. Because of your efforts our district retained invaluable local funds for our schools.

This past week even more threatening bills, S.414 and its twin H.3407, began to make their way through the legislature. These bills propose to use public tax dollars for vouchers/tax credits for children to attend private schools. A comparable bill was introduced in the Senate in 2009 (S.520-Ford, Charleston) and would have cost the state’s general fund $174 million. Our county’s delegates, Representatives Simrell, Delleney, Long, and Moss have signed on to sponsor the house version.

I went to Columbia last Wednesday, March 16, to testify against S.414 at a Senate Educational Committee Public Hearing chaired by our Senator Hays. Those for the bill spoke first (and at length) and those opposed had greatly reduced time to speak. Time ran out before my turn. Another hearing is to be scheduled and I will try again to be heard.

I am asking that you contact not only our representatives but others in the House and Senate who are either on record as supporting one of the two bills or are members of the committees hearing the bills. You don’t need to say much. Our power comes from many people contacting representatives to say NO to S.414 and its twin H.3407. You might suggest that public funds should not be used to support private, religious and home-based educational systems.

Please contact our county delegation. Urge those legislators (Simrell, Delleney, Long, and Moss) who are for the bill to vote against it. Thank those who have not endorsed H.3404 and urge them to vote against it.

It is also possible to send a message to all of the Senate Education Committee members at one time

  • In your web browser address space put
  • On the first page click on Senate on the very top line. A picture of Glen McConnel should come up.
  • On the left side of the new page click on Senate Information, then Committees/Offices. A list of Senate Committees will appear.
  • Click on Education Committee. A mail form comes up.
  • At that point you must give your identifying information, write your message, and send it.
  • I don’t think you need to write in detail. We need to let them know that we are against what they are trying to do to public schools and want them to vote NO.

For more information on these bills, their implications for public schools, and information on similar strategies tried in other states, click here. Below find contact information for members of the York County Legislative Delegation, and a list of SC Senators supporting the tax credit bill.

Contact Information for local SC House and Senate members.

York County Delegation
Gary Simrill
Business: 803-366-0445
House number: 803-734-3040
Ralph Norman
Business: 803-366-8141
House number: 803-212-6888
Tommy Pope
Business: 803-324-7574
House number: 803-212-6895
Dennis Moss
Business: 864-761-6353
House number: 803-734-2121
Deborah Long
Business: 803-417-7353
House number 803-212-6874
John King
House number: 803-212-6873
Greg Delleney
Business: 803-581-2211
House number : 803-734-3074
Robert W. Hayes, Jr.
Home (803) 328-8532
Senate number: 803-212-6410
Senate supporters of S 0414 General Bill:
Sponsored By Grooms, McConnell, Ford, Ryberg, Bryant, Campsen, Davis, Fair, Rose, Shoopman, Verdin, Thomas and Bright

Lawrence K. “Larry” Grooms [R]
Pres./CEO GTI, District 37 – Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton & Dorchester Counties
(C) 203 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6400
* Glenn F. McConnell [R]
Attorney/Businessman, Pres. Pro Tempore, District 41 – Charleston County
(C) 101 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6610
Robert Ford [D]
Developer, District 42 – Charleston County
(C) 506 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6124      Home (803) 798-9220
W. Greg Ryberg [R]
CEO, REI, Inc., District 24 – Aiken County
(C) 313 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6320
Kevin L. Bryant [R]
Pharmacist, District 3 – Anderson County
C) 606 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6024
George E. “Chip” Campsen, III [R](2002)
Businessman/Attorney, District 43 – Berkeley & Charleston Counties
(C) 604 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6016
Bus. (803) 212-6024
Tom Davis [R]
Attorney, District 46 – Beaufort County
(C) 602 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6008
Michael L. Fair [R](1995)
Insurance, District 6 – Greenville County
(C) 211 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6420**
Michael T. Rose [R](1997)
Businessman/Attorney, District 38 – Charleston & Dorchester Counties
(C) 613 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6056
Phillip W. Shoopman [R](2008)
Professional Engineer, District 5 – Greenville County
(C) 504 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6032
David L. Thomas [R]
Attorney, District 8 – Greenville County
(C) 410 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6240
Daniel B. “Danny” Verdin, III [R]
Owner, Verdin’s Farm & Garden Center, District 9 – Greenville & Laurens Counties
(C) 404 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6230
Lee Bright [R]
Transportation, District 12 – Spartanburg County
(C) 502 Gressette Bldg., Columbia, 29201
Bus. (803) 212-6108
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