Tax Credit Debate Resumes in Senate on April 20

The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday April 20 at 11:00.  On the Agenda is discussion of S.414 (Educational Opportunity Act) this year’s tuition tax credit/voucher effort by legislators who support using public funds for private/religious schools.  S.414 was discussed in an Education Committee Sub-committee for several weeks but was passed out last week by a 5-1 vote to be considered by the entire Committee.

Let’s be very clear, this is NOT an education bill, it is a tax bill that is estimated to drain the state’s General Fund The subcommittee heard testimony from Dr. Harry Miley, on behalf of SCSBA, that the bill would have a substantial impact on state finances. Having studied a fiscal report on the bill conducted by the state Board of Economic Advisors (BEA), Miley told the subcommittee that the state’s general fund would lose more than $800 million over the 13 years proposed for full implementation, and school districts would lose more than $1 billion. Money that normally would go into the state’s general fund to support public schools and all other public services including law enforcement, Medicaid, roads and more will no longer be in the state coffers.

A very good editorial was recently sent to newspapers across the state written by SC School Boards Association Executive Director Dr. Paul Krohne.  I did not find it in the Herald’s archives.   It is available in The Times and Democrat and with a subscription in The Greenville News .

Please once again take time to let our voices be heard in Columbia.  Contact the members of the Senate Education Committee before Wednesday and share your concerns on the impact that this bill will have on public education in our state.  The committee members are listed below. The telephone number for the committee office is 803.212.6332   You can also send a message to the entire committee by following these steps.

Enter in the address line:
Click on Senate information.
Click on Committee & Offices (Left side of screen.)
Next screen click on Education Committee.
You will need to enter identifying information.
Type a message to be sent to the committee.
Copy nonsense characters.  Click on submit.

For contacting committee members individually by phone:
John Courson, Chairman
Business Phone (803) 212-6250
Ralph Anderson
Business Phone (803) 212-6032
Nikki Setzler
Business Phone (803) 212-6140
Greg Ryberg sponsor
Business Phone (803) 212-6320
ohn Matthews
Business Phone (803) 212-6056
Larry Grooms sponsor
Business Phone (803) 212-6400
Wes Hayes
Business Phone (803) 212-6410
Joel Lourie
Business Phone (803) 212-6116
Luke Rankin
Business Phone (803) 212-6132
Mike Fair sponsor
Business Phone (803) 212-6420
Harvey Peeler
Business Phone (803) 212-6430
Larry Martin
Business Phone (803) 212-6340
Phil Leventis
Business Phone (803) 212-6000
Darrell Jackson
Business Phone (803) 212-6048

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