Connect with us
Support Palmetto Kids FIRST

For Parents

Racism? Favoritism? Or BOTH??

That is what we get with a Government Run Program.

Published

on

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

GEORGIA 2020 Fundraising Update – $81.8 MILLION Raised in 7 DAYS!!!

Published

on

Georgia officially broke another fundraising record – $81.8 MILLION in ONE WEEK!!!

Yes, you are reading that right – ALMOST $82 MILLION in SEVEN DAYS and as far as we know (note sarcasm), the exact same IRS rules and Federal tax laws apply to Georgia as South Carolina.

Remember that excuse? 👇 And apparently (not so) Exceptional SC, #FireChadConnelly & Board Chairman Tom Persons are are still telling parents and school officials this excuse today.

#FireChadConnelly has failed every child in this program and thousands of others who could have benefited from it in the future! This is what you get when a good “Republican” like Chad Connelly who preaches free markets … but when it comes to lining their own pockets they want NO COMPETITION.

Think about it … SC HAS NO CHOICE IN SCHOOL CHOICE!!!

Would you work with (not so) Exceptional SC if you has any choice at all???

Kids suffer and the program fails under government operations yet neither #FireChadConnelly nor Board Chairman Tom Persons will come to the table to try to fix it. How many more children will need to suffer for them to see that (not so) Exceptional SC has an UNCONSTITUTIONAL problem … and it is A BIG PROBLEM and DONORS know it!!! 

SC is the NATION’S ONLY state that has a government run K-12 tax credit scholarship program. 23 programs nationwide, billions annually, 25 years of history … and SC figures it is better for the government to run the program. Our neighbors in Georgia met the 2019 $100 MILLION cap and started strong with over $80 MILLION in the first week of 2020, while #FireChadConnelly could only raise $3.5 MILLION (maybe a little more – we’re still waiting for the final results) … and instead of putting on a big push at the end of 2019 … he went SKIING!!!


Continue Reading

For Parents

No fundraising update – schools shutting down, students pulling out of schools, Chad Connelly goes skiing!

Published

on

Where is (not so) Exceptional SC??? Children are suffering, Chad Connelly goes skiing …

The Waldo cartoon above might actually be funny if we were not talking about your child’s education, their future, their hope … and YOUR finances.  Has anyone heard anything from Exceptional SC???  2019 fundraising has ended as of 12/31/2019 … and NO UPDATES!!!  We have watched this for years … and we are only amazed they can do WORSE than they did before.  Speechless … simply speechless … this is governmental malpractice.

So where is (not so) Exceptional SC???

Schools are shutting down, we are receiving reports that field trips are getting cancelled, children are being pulled out of school midyear, parents working two jobs and getting their credit cards charged up to pay tuition bills … yet instead of spending the last week of 2019 raising as much in the “end of year” donations as possible we found #FireChadConnelly having a carefree time skiing in West Virginia. Or was he looking for donors at the top of the mountain???

That really was “a great way to cap off the decade” … right? Well, not for parents and schools!!! Maybe if #FireChadConnelly did what he gets paid to do, some of our families would be able to take a little break from worrying about how to pay school tuition and go on little a vacation too!

All we can suggest is to CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR … explain the utter incompetency going on … and ask them to return the program to the independent nonprofits like it is done in EVERY OTHER STATE IN THE NATION (and to FULLY FUND the program)!!!  Senator Tom Davis‘ bill S 131 would have fixed ALL of this!!! 

Will Exceptional SC support the bill to fix this mess? Stay tuned!!!

Continue Reading

For Parents

(Not so) Exceptional SC’s failures has full time special needs school fighting to stay open!

Published

on

Back in October, after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request and a LAWSUIT, we discovered how bad (not so) Exceptional SC’s fundraising was and reported it HERE. We wrote HERE about how dangerous and unnecessary of a game (not so) Exceptional SC has been playing with our children, all so Chad Connelly can have a job?!

Well, two months forward, everything we have been predicting and warning people from the day Palmetto Promise Institute published their failed legislative analysis of the government taking over the program, is coming to reality!

One of the “full time special needs schools” that was one of the earliest adopters and beneficiaries of the program before the government takeover, is “fighting to stay open”. Check out the story by WIS News HERE.

This is simply heartbreaking … but also we all saw it coming. We have been warning YOU, school leaders and legislators for years … and the fact that #FireChadConnelly still blames the tax law changes that happened in December, 2017 … nearly two years ago … is simply mind boggling!!!

Also, lets not forget that IRS tax law changes apply to ALL states … yet our neighbors in Georgia raised $100,000,000 and funded all their kids! So, NO, tax changes are not the issue … #FireChadConnelly and the fact that the unconstitutional structure concerns of the NATION’S ONLY government run K-12 tax credit scholarship program we have in SC is the problem … not to mention Chad Connelly is too busy playing games to do his job (click HERE)!

How many more children need to get hurt, how many schools need to shut down before legislators bring a real tax credit scholarship program back to SC?!?! The solution is clear … Senator Tom Davis’ Bill S 131 / H 3202 will fix all the problems!!!

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2013-2019 Palmetto Kids FIRST Scholarship Program, Inc. An IRS 501(c)(3) Non-Profit