SC Senate defeats school choice proposal

  • Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:23 p.m.

COLUMBIA — South Carolina senators have defeated an attempt to help parents pay for private school tuition or educate them at home through the state budget.

The 23-18 vote Wednesday rejecting the budget amendment followed nearly three hours of discussion. Senators are in their second week of debating their 2013-14 budget plan.

Efforts to use the tax code to help parents send their children to private school have died repeatedly in the Legislature since 2004.

The latest plan rejected would have given a $4,000 tax deduction per child for parents who pay tuition upfront, and a $2,000 deduction for homeschooling expenses.

Poor and disabled children could get scholarships for private tuition, and donors for those scholarships would have earned tax credits.

State economic advisers expected it to reduce revenues by $39 million.

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