(The Daily Signal) – Despite the most well-funded efforts to stop education reform, the school choice movement still clearly has momentum.
The fruits of those efforts can be seen during this year’s National School Choice Week (Jan. 21-27), which saw a new program just launched in South Carolina.
School choice programs got a huge boost during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Not only were many public schools kept locked down due to the influence of teachers unions, but parents discovered that their children were often receiving indoctrination, rather than education.
Several governors took steps to remove propaganda from their state’s public schools. But allowing parents to have flexibility when their local school district is failing is another roadblock to the radicals’ takeover of education.
The aftermath of the lockdowns prompted many states, including South Carolina, to embrace various school choice initiatives.
In April, the South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation that created the Education Scholarship Trust Fund that was subsequently signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster.
There are now 13 states that have education savings account programs.
Of course, teachers unions—the ones responsible for keeping schools closed in the Palmetto State and elsewhere during COVID-19—tried to derail the ESA effort in South Carolina.
It didn’t work.
The new program went into effect this January, and now parents have the opportunity to participate.
The South Carolina Department of Education created a portal for parents to apply through that launched on Jan. 15.
The South Carolina fund provides up to $6,000 for approved families that parents can use on private school tuition or other programs. That $6,000 just about matches the average annual private school tuition in the state.
“The passage of the Education Scholarship Account law is a significant victory for parents, students and the future of education in South Carolina,” Wendy Damron, president and CEO of the Palmetto Promise Institute, a conservative think tank, said in a news release. “But now we must get the word out. We call on all South Carolinians who believe in a wide array of education options for kids to tell every parent they know about [the Education Scholarship Trust Fund].”
The application deadline for the program is March 15.