(The Center Square) — South Carolina residents are supportive of school choice, according to a new survey of eligible voters from the South Carolina Policy Council.
Asked about education savings accounts, which were debated in the Legislative Assembly this year, 47% of registered voters supported the idea, 26% opposed and 27% were unsure.
The poll asked “Earlier this year, a proposal was made in South Carolina to create college savings accounts, which would pay for some low-income K-12 students to attend private schools in their choice. The amount of the scholarship would be equal to or less than what the state currently pays to educate this child. Do you support or oppose this proposal?”
A similar June survey The South Carolina Policy Council’s opinion poll showed similar results.
At this year’s session, the South Carolina Senate passed an ESA bill that would have created 5,000 scholarships in the 2023-24 school year before increasing to 10,000 in 2024-25 and 15,000 each school year thereafter.
The House then modified the bill and it did not move forward in the last days of the session. A conference bill was created and passed by the House before it died in the Senate.
“The ESA/education choice bill, S.935, bled on the floor of the South Carolina Senate because the conference report (which passed the SC House 85-14) did not include a provision that is not found in any ESA operational program in the country: requiring children in private schools to take (only) the public school test rather than a normative national test like this is their practice”, according to Palmetto Promise.