Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Letter From Rock Hill School Board Member Jane Sharp

This is to alert you to this year’s effort to pass a voucher bill in our state enabling public funds to be used for private school and home schooled students.  Because of your interest in education, I ask that you read the linked information and contact our legislators to ask them to vote against these bills.  The House bill (3407) is, in fact, sponsored by some of our own representatives. 

My blog entry at  has perhaps more information than needed.  However, the details are there if you wish.  The basics of the bills are that SC income tax credits of up to $2700 would be given to whomever pays the bill for any public school child transferring to private school.  Those (people, businesses, etc.) contributing to Scholarship Organizations set up for private and religious schools can receive a 100% SC income tax credit for any contributions for sponsoring a “poor” child.  In effect, the state pays the scholarship.  An additional component would provide up to $1000 SC income tax credit for each home-schooled student.  The bill counts as “savings” to the state the money that they would have sent to a public school, except now the child is withdrawn, minus the tax credits given to those funding private, religious and home schoolers.

The basics of our state are that “poor” children’s families would not be able to qualify for significant amounts of this so-called “Equal Educational Opportunity” bill.  In order to qualify for the $2,700 tax credit a family would have had to pay that much in state income taxes.  This amount might require a yearly family income of over $60,000.  A family with three children in York County can receive full meal supplements if their income is $22,000 per year and will pay state income taxes of about $100, and so can qualify for only that much tax credit.  That amount would not fund tuition costs at either of Rock Hill’s two largest private schools which are currently listed at $4600 and $7600 annually.  Full matching for “scholarship organizations” would further delete tax contributions to our General Fund which also funds highways, public health, etc. for our state.  These bills by no means seem aimed at supporting “needy”  families and have strong issues of equity, accountability, and constitutionality.

Please send a brief email or phone call to our county’s (York) delegation.  You really need to say only, “I am against H.3407 S.414 and I want you to vote NO.”  I also ask that you send a message to the members of the Senate Education Committee who have already had one Public Hearing concerning their version, S.414.  Wes Hayes is chairing that committee but Sen. Grooms (Charleston) is also a member and he is the one who authored the bill.  I explain in my  blog how a single email can be sent to all members of the Education committee.  It is the sheer numbers of people saying NO that will sway our representatives.

Thank you for your work in behalf of our children.  Should anyone want continued updates on local and state education issues please let me know by  emailing

Jane Sharp
Rock Hill Schools
Board of Trustees

No comments:

Blog Archive


Subscribe Now: Feed Icon