As they close their doors, the privately run nonprofits that had been raising money for the state’s private school-choice program have handed over $42,000 in donations to a new state program.
The private nonprofits had until Aug. 1 to cease operating and transfer any remaining donations to a new nonprofit set up by the state to provide private-school tuition grants to children with disabilities.
Legislators moved to close the privately run nonprofits — and set up a state-run nonprofit — after hearing concerns that the private nonprofits were unfairly distributing grants. A state audit found that one nonprofit was giving grants to students whose parents had donated to it, a violation of state law.
As of early Tuesday, that new state-run nonprofit – Exceptional SC – had received more than $4 million in donations.
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Taxpayers who donate to Exceptional SC qualify for a tax credit — worth the value of their contribution — that can lower what they owe in state taxes by up to 60 percent.
Palmetto Kids First – the Mount Pleasant-based nonprofit that was by far the most successful in raising money since the private-school choice program was launched in 2014 – sent $37,068 to the new state program.
Two smaller nonprofits – Advance Carolina and S.C. Donors Enriching Students’ Knowledge – gave about $5,000 combined.
A nonprofit associated with the Catholic Diocese of Charleston had no money left over to transfer to the state, a spokesperson said.
The state is allowing up to $10 million in tax credits for donations to Exceptional SC and an additional $2 million in tax credits for taxpayers who pay private-school tuition for children with disabilities.