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For Parents

Montana Single SFO found UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Why … only one SFO for donors to select from … just like (not so) Exceptional SC?

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We have been saying this for years … (not so) Exceptional SC has an UNCONSTITUTIONAL problem … and it is A BIG ONE and DONORS, especially corporate donors, know it!!! 

Why else do you think the “special interest” are trying to push through a 100% GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED Education Savings Account bill (ESA)? 

As soon as the SC program, which is technically MUCH WORSE / RISKIER than the one in Montana is found UNCONSTITUTIONAL as well … the SC Program will have to go back to INDEPENDENT NON-PROFITS and the monied “special interest” and government bureaucrats lose all their control and $$$$.  #FollowTheMoney!!!

US SUPREME COURT PROTECTION:  As we have reported in the past, one of the greatest LEGAL protections we have for these programs is the US Supreme Court ruling in Arizona Christian School Tuition Org. v. Winn, 563 U.S. 125, 131 S. Ct. 1436 (2011).  That case basically says that if you have MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT NON-PROFITS … then they CAN NOT BE SUED over these unconstitutional claims.  This case protects ALL the K-12 Tax Credit Scholarship programs and has been used to defeat legal challenges all over the country.  It is GREAT and it is one reason why K-12 Tax Credit Programs are the GRANDDADDY of school choice!!!

But this US Supreme Court protection is WORTHLESS to us when you have #1 only one SFO (like in Montana) and #2 the Government runs the one SFO (like in South Carolina).  Here is what the Montana Supreme Court said:

(For the Courts full opinion, click HERE.) Espinoza v. Mont. Dep’t of Revenue, 2018 MT 306 (Mont., 2018)

MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE CAUSE THIS:  And yes, just like here in SC, guess who caused this problem in Montana … their DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE.  We have been telling everyone for years, and senior legislators have confirmed this to us, that the SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE is “POLITICALLY” opposed to school choice generally and this program specifically.  Montana is just another example.

IT IS CLEAR … legally & administratively … (no so) Exceptional SC is a failure:  

Friends & School Officials, this is only going to get MUCH WORSE.  S 131 / H 3202 will END all this mess!!!  Focus on students .. not “special interest”.

For Parents

Countdown to SEPTEMBER 15TH

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The days are quickly slipping away … and we don’t have a lot of time.  If the remaining four board members at Exceptional SC don’t get together with us … and start working together in the next week or so … we won’t get anything accomplished when the SC Legislature goes back to Columbia on SEPTEMBER 15th. 

It’s NOW … or the 2020-2021 program year is lost. Remember, as of June 30th, 2020, Exceptional SC did not have much in the bank … and we don’t think they have done much since…

How is this situation affecting your family? Have you made a decision about the upcoming school year … are you taking a risk of not getting scholarship and still keeping your child in the same school … or are you planning on alternative arrangements? 

Perhaps you are mobilized to make sure the legislators make the necessary changes? Unless legislators “fix” the program as we are requesting, we don’t know how Exceptional SC will be able to even give 10% scholarships in the FALL.

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For Parents

A VISION for Fixing the Program

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A parent asked this week if we were “at all hopeful the scholarships may still come through for this school year?”

Well … IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT HAPPENS HERE SHORTLY.  It can be done … easily … “if” the remaining 4 board members work cooperatively in supporting this vision.

THE VISION TO FIX EXCEPTIONAL SC


If we can win adding back CONSTITUTIONAL”independent non-profits” when the legislature returns on September 15th, CPAs will be comfortable to recommend the program to their clients, people that actually care about the kids will be involved (not just “paid” fundraisers) … and we have no doubt that the collective “we” (ourselves and other groups who want to get involved) will raise the full 2020 available $12 million by 12/31 …. and next year’s available $12 million in early January 2021.

We have personally done it before … independent non-profits are doing it today all across the nation … EASY!!!

That is $24 million raised for scholarships in the next 6 months … by 1/31/2021 … which will turn this mess around FAST … REAL FAST!!!

The legislative language is already drafted and LOTS of legislators are behind it an ready to go.

Who is not behind it yet … who have we not heard from yet … the Exceptional SC Board.

If they do nothing September 15th when the legislature comes back into session … or more of the same … we will be lucky if Exceptional SC raises a few million dollars over the next 6 to 12 months.  That is their track record … so why keep doing the same?

HOW CAN YOU HELP?:  

PLEASE – Contact EXCEPTIONAL SC BOARD:  

Ask them if they will support INDEPENDENT NON-PROFITSAsk them if they will meet to discuss a solution.  It is not hard … but the time for them to speak-up is NOW!!! 

Betsy Fanning, Head of School, Trident Academy. bfanning@tridentacademy.com, 843-884-7046 x111 (school)

Michael Acquilano, Director, South Carolina Catholic Conference. MAcquilano@catholic-doc.org 843-261-0535 (office) 843-709-2717 (cell)

Edward Earwood, Executive Director, South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.   eearwood@christianeducation.org  803-798-7558 (office) 843-513-5010 (cell)

Dr. Spencer Jordan, Executive Director, SCISA.    administration@scisa.org  &  sjordan@scisa.org   803-535-4820 (office)

And we DON’T have a lot of time:   If the remaining four board members at Exceptional SC don’t get together with us … and start working together in the next week or so … we won’t get anything accomplished when the SC Legislature goes back to Columbia on SEPTEMBER 15th. 

It’s NOW … or the 2020-2021 program year is lost.

CALL your Exceptional SC Board Member … TODAY!!!

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For Parents

“The Landscape Is Changing” – An Opportunity To Fix Everything

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As we are still awaiting a formal announcement from “Exceptional SC” as to Chad Connelly & Tom Persons’ separating from Exceptional SC we need you to realize … this is not a VICTORY … it is an OPPORTUNITY!!! 

We are all relieved to have the two biggest opponents to fixing this program in Chad Connelly & Tom Persons OUTGONE … from Exceptional SC … but there is work to be done.

This is the biggest opportunity to fix everything … correct all the problems of the past … but as encouraging as these words might be from the Exceptional SC attorney Friday a week ago … “The landscape is changing” … those are just words from their attorney.  We need ACTION!!!

We have a HUGE PROBLEM … yes!!!  We have all felt that very personally and our children have suffered because of it.  Well now we have an OPPORTUNITY.  Will we have VICTORY?  The next week or so will tell us which direction we are heading.

We really hope we never have to use the name (not so) Exceptional SC ever again!!!  Will it be the last time? It all depends on what happens next … in the next week or so with the remaining FOUR Exceptional SC Board Members.  Will they take advantage of the OPPORTUNITY???

YES … believe it or not … this big mess can ALL be fixed, and fixed soon. There is no reason all $12 MILLION can not be raised before 12/31/2020 if we have independent non-profits involved. We have no doubt we can do it … and fund the scholarships quickly!!!

And NO … outsourcing it to “professional fundraisers” that don’t know how these programs work … will not work …

More on that soon – STAY TUNED…

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