The Buzz

May 12, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: SC parents pressured to donate to scholarship group

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

The leader of a West Columbia private school says her students’ parents are being pressured to donate to the new private-school choice program, created to help parents of children with disabilities afford private school.

The pressure, said Susan Thomas, head of Glenforest School, is coming from Jeff Davis with Palmetto Kids First – one of five nonprofits set up this year to grant private-school scholarships made possible through a new state tax credit.

Emails to parents leave the impression – without directly offering a quid pro quo – that if the parents donate to Palmetto Kids, it will grant them a scholarship, Thomas said.

That quid-pro-quo arrangement is illegal, under the new S.C. private-school choice law, which says donors to scholarship-granting organizations cannot designate the students or schools that will benefit from their contributions. That controversial one-year law is up for renewal this spring before the Legislature.

Read the full story here.

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