February 24th, 2021 – Today state legislators introduced H.3976, a partisan private school voucher bill that will redirect public funds toward private and religious schools. Despite the South Carolina Supreme Court’s two-time rejection of a similar program last fall, the state’s leadership remains intent on advancing its ideology of “educational freedom.” The real “freedom” vouchers provide is the freedom from oversight and accountability that we require of public schools.
The data is clear: private school voucher programs do not improve educational outcomes for vulnerable students, result in documented discrimination against students based on their religion, socioeconomic status, and identity, and rob students and teachers of critical funding – devastating in ordinary circumstances and especially now as we find ourselves surviving a pandemic. Exploiting the needs of poor students, students of color, and students with disabilities to advance a political agenda ignores the very real ways the offered “choice” works for the few at the expense of the many students who do and will always attend public schools.
Our organizations, alongside students, parents, teachers, and coalition partners, will fight this legislation with every resource we can muster.
Lindsey Jacobs, PEPGC Policy & Advocacy Director | firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Lominack, RCPEP President & CEO | email@example.com