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For Parents

ESAs are Taxable Income … Death Knell for S 556?

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We have been preaching this for years now … ever since the “paid” special interest advocates pushed for a direct refundable parental tax credit … these payments are likely TAXABLE INCOME!!!

This week the Republican Attorney General & Republican Commissioner of Education found that the newly passed Education Savings Account (ESA) program in Tennessee would be TAXABLE INCOME to the parent recipients. (NOTE: Although the Tennessee ESA is currently the law, it was a major debacle getting it passed. It won by one vote, a Republican that only voted yes if they promised to keep ESAs OUT of his district … so the program is only in 2 out of 95 counties in TN and the school districts get reimbursed 100% for each kid that leaves … so the state is paying DOUBLE for those kids in the program … so it wasn’t “really” passed and like Nevada, our bet is it will be killed before it is ever implemented – costing taxpayers millions in the process.)

But you don’t have to take our word for it … watch and read the articles yourself.

Reporter Richard Ransom asks …. “Were lawmakers mislead? Were they lied to?” Our experience … YES!!!

https://newschannel9.com/news/nation-world/official-tennessee-school-vouchers-are-federally-taxable-income

The IRS rules are pretty simple … if you get a check from state government … you must provide that person with an IRS Form 1099-G … period!!!

What does this have to do with South Carolina? Well, do you get a refundable parental tax credit? Well, is that taxable income? We think it is … and that is why we opposed it. SC legislators can make the payment free from SC state income tax … but they have NO influence on making it FEDERALLY tax free. That is the reason NO OTHER STATE IN THE NATION has such a large refundable parental tax credit. Others states are not stupid … they know (like Tennessee has figured out) that these direct payments from state government is a tax problem. There are a few states with small $100 or $200 refundable education tax credits … and yes they are taxable too … but that is nothing like an $11,000 refundable parental tax credit. That is a HUGE tax bill.

And as other articles point out … this impacts the poor the most. Yes wealthy parents may get a $37% federal income tax bill … yes, keep hoping you don’t get audited by the IRS … but for low income families that might be subject to income limitations on their benefits, food stamps, ACA healthcare … this extra “income” may cost you more than you actually receive.

SC Legislators are aware of this problem … we have told them … but the “paid” special interest sing a different story. Well, what do they have to say now? Guess who has been WRONG almost every time … the “paid” special interest advocates. #FollowTheMoney!!!

Remember Palmetto Promise Institutes “Bigger. Better. Faster.” proclamation … read it HERE. These guys have no idea what they are talking about.

https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2019/11/19/memphis-senator-opposes-school-voucher-program-update/4239159002/

“This is a worst-case scenario for students, their families, the school districts and the state.” – TN STATE SENATOR RAUMESH AKBARI

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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