‘School Choice’ Scheme Promoted By S.C. Governor

Criticizing the state’s public school system, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is pushing a tax credit plan to benefit religious and other private schools.

In his Jan. 26 State of the State Address, Gov. Sanford (R) claimed he “passionately” believes in public schools before going into a lengthy argument in favor of a “school choice” program.

The solution to education problems is free market values, Sanford argued. He said he believes “in the market’s ability to improve a product and lower the price of that product….” So Perdue urged the Republican-controlled legislature to get behind his “Putting Parents In Charge” plan, which is comprised of tax credits that would allow parents to send their children to private schools.

Education Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum told The Greenville News she is “disappointed” in the governor’s address. The Democratic office holder called the governor’s school-choice plan a “scheme.”

The Sun News, Myrtle Beach’s daily, reported that Sanford’s school-choice package faces iffy prospects in the legislature. The newspaper quoted Senate Education Committee Chairman John Courson as saying the plan had “tepid” support in the Senate. House Republicans reportedly “are fractured over the issue.”