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For Parents

Racism? Favoritism? Or BOTH??

That is what we get with a Government Run Program.

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Government involvement in School Choice.

In 2016 DOR “accused” Palmetto Kids FIRST of “favoritism”. Why? Because 100% of ALL applicants received 100% scholarships.  How to you favor anyone when EVERYONE that applied got a full scholarship?

Well DOR accused us of “favoritism” because a few parents (amounting to 2.8% of the entire $12 million we had raised at the time … a de minimis amount) had donated to PKF … and those parents had also received scholarships. Realize however that EVERY OTHER STATE with a similar K-12 tax credit program allows parents to donate … and there was no prohibition in the law against parents donated. Plus, when we asked DOR to tell us if parents could or could not donate … DOR flat REFUSED to tell us either way. One powerful Democratic State Senator on the sub-committee overseeing the program actually told us it might be illegal to refuse to accept donations from parents.

DOR … which we have been told politically opposed the program … put us in a situation where we were damned if we did, and damned if we didn’t … we think on purpose. Why? So certain legislators opposed to school choice were able to take the opportunity to take over the program because DOR said PKF as the biggest part of the program (85%) was showing favortism.

The irony … those same legislators game the program to the SC Department of Revenue to run … and guess what …. the ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO DONATE!!! So DOR now does the exact same thing they chastised us for doing.

Exceptional SC FAQ
PKF did the same thing and DOR said it was “favoritism”

WE SHOWED NO FAVORITISM … obviously … yet DOR lied and their ethically and professional conflicted “3rd party CPA” who was the BOARD CHAIRMAN of one of our biggest political opponents at the time confirmed DOR’s lies.  DOR had the legal authority to easily shut us down if we were doing anything wrong or illegal, but they would not because we did nothing wrong! If they did shut us down then we would go to court and PROVE them wrong.  If our claim was not true, why won’t DOR sue us now for defamation / lying???  Because if they do, then we go to court and prove them wrong.

And what has DOR gotten us? We are now dealing with the nation’s ONLY GOVERNMENT RUN K-12 Tax Credit Scholarship Program … and it failing.

We have complained for years about “information” not being available to all schools … a complete lack of transparency … and stated that if you are lucky enough to have a “friend” on the (not so) Ethical … we mean (not so) Exceptional SC Board … you probably get all the info you need on how to apply, when to expect funding, how much, etc., etc., etc.   Looks like we were right.

The 2017-2018 SC DOR Report, in our opinion, demonstrates undeniable FAVORITISM … and perhaps even RACISM and RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE!?!?! Check it out for yourself:

(For Full Reports, Click 2016-2017 or 2017-2018 )

THE WINNERS???  Three of the top money winners have seats on the (not so) Exceptional SC Board.  At least one of Chairman Tom Persons‘ grandchild goes to Christ Church (#1 winner) and reportedly his daughter works there.  Chairman Tom Persons is also the former Board Chairman at The Chandler School (#3 winner). His fellow Board Member, Betsy Fanning, is the Head of School at Trident Academy (#4 winner).

INCUMBENTS???  And for a program that by law is supposed to give priority to “incumbents” … how does Heathwood Hall … one of the wealthiest school in the state … go from ZERO dollars & ZERO incumbents … to $59,769 and 16 scholarship recipients  in two years? That is impressive … just not “right”.  #FollowTheMoney 

THE LOSERS???  Well, just check out the bottom of the list.  Our big “full time” special needs schools and schools with large special needs programs all lost substantial amounts of funding. SC’s only two African American private schools (that we know of) … and all three of SC’s Jewish schools … also were major losers with disproportionate funding cuts. Coincidence?

A new report is due in January 2020 … it will probably take a while to get it … but we will stay on it until we have it!

For Parents

June Fundraising – It’s Getting Worse!!!

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The SC Department Of Revenue has responded to a FOIA request with the fundraising update for the month of June. (not so) Exceptional SC & #FireChadConnelly raised only $64,626.82 in the month of June.

Friends … as we have been predicting and warning everyone … things ARE NOT looking good for the fall semester. The school is starting in about a month … and (not so) Exceptional SC raised $704,293.76 SINCE JANUARY, and as you can tell, things are getting WORSE!!! While our neighbors in GA with a similar income tax credit program raised $81.8 MILLION by January 7th – YES – in ONLY 7 DAYS!!!

How is (not so) Exceptional SC planning on funding the scholarships in the fall with almost non-existent fundraising? You deserve to know … you deserve the opportunity to plan ahead … you deserve answers!

Call / email and ask: administrator@exceptionalsc.org, 803-602-4398 (administrator), Chad Connelly – Exceptional SC Executive Director – 803-924-4596, chad@exceptionalSC.org, Tom Persons – Exceptional SC Board Chair – 803-261-0348, tepsr@att.net   tep@sctech.org

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For Parents

2020-2021 Applications are OPEN!

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We now have until August 31st @ 5PM to get in your applications. Please help spread the word … and although NOT First Come / First Served, get your application in ASAP!!!


www.palmettokidsFIRST.org/apply

www.palmettokidsFIRST.org/apply

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For Parents

Coming: Charleston Public Charter Dyslexia School!!!

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Exciting news for our Lowcountry Families!!! Gates School – Charleston’s first public charter school for students with dyslexia and related reading challenges is opening in August 2021!!!!

If you are interested, fill out a “new parent interest form” by clicking the link below:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSed4FhHPVCoWtOKoN0-4khw8qlZWPT1s3beEYHObRqID-og1Q/viewform

Although this is a wonderful news and option for our families living around Charleston this is not going to be the solution to the lack of funding from (not so) Exceptional SC. Not every child with dyslexia from the area will be able to get into the school … and not that this one school will be the best fit for every family.

The purpose of this program is for the families and children to have OPTIONS to receive the education that best fits their needs … be that public, private, homeschooling or a free specialty charter school like Gates …  and #FireChadConnelly & #RemoveTomPersons‘ responsibility is to provide funding for the private school options. If they are not fulfilling that responsibility … what is their purpose???

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