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More Conflicts of Interest?

Tom Persons is partner in political “Public Relations” firm … with registered LOBBYIST?

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We have exposed multiple conflicts of interest with the legislatively appointed board at (not so) Exceptional SC … but this one is a killer.

Check this out from the SC Secretary of State website:

(not so) Exceptional SC Board Chairman, Mr. Tom Persons, has long claimed this was all “volunteer” and about the kids … even going so far as to say not one dime was being spent on even a hot dog (which turns out to be a huge lie).

But did anyone know “what” Tom Persons does for a living? What funds that BIG OFFICE he has overlooking the SC State House? Why is he so involved with what goes on at the SC State House? Literally … he sits in his office all day watching the proceedings at the SC State House on ETV … but why???

Well … it turns out Tom Persons is BUSINESS PARTNERS with a REGISTERED LOBBYIST.

Granted, Chris Lindsay is a super nice guy … we like him a lot … but this explains why Tom Persons has turned so hard on on us … and is always protecting the government line on this program. Tom Persons, in our observations, has flat refused to advocate hard for our parents and kids. He actually claimed Chad Connelly is one of his be hires ever (or something to that effect).

It has perplexed us since July 2016 why Mr. Persons has refused to talk with us … and this seems to explain it … and it seems to explain why we see Mr. Lindsay at all the meetings and court hearings related to the program. We used to think these guys were there to help … get this program back on track like every other state … but perhaps they were only there to protect their own financial interest.

Well, apparently if Tom Persons speaks up against the powers at the SC State House … like we do … his “business” may be impacted.

As we always say … #FollowTheMoney

Anyone think this sound like a QUID PRO QUO?

Stay tuned …

For Parents

Government Demands ALL Scholarship Funds Returned!!!

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A Maryland 100% government run “Voucher” program started in 2016 has demanded the return of $100,000 in scholarship funds (all funds since the beginning of the program in 2016) from a particular Christian school because … basically … the government officials don’t like the school.

The article demonstrates what we have been saying will happen under 100% government control and administration of a private school choice program. 

(Click image above or HERE)

Technically they are saying the Christian school needs to add an anti-discrimination clause regarding sexual orientation … but other schools without the anti-discrimination clause are not being punished … so it appears to be more “targeting” of a specific school or administration.

That would never happen in SC would it?  We think it already is … but that is a longer discussion.

Anyhow, maybe you agree that XYZ school should not get scholarship funds for whatever reason … but just realize … one day … YOU & YOUR SCHOOL WILL BE “TARGETED” TOO.  Maybe it will be your Christian beliefs, or maybe because you are a Muslim school, or maybe it is because your school leader “speaks up” too much or angered the wrong politician … or the government officials don’t like the curriculum you are teaching … or you don’t use the particular “test” they want you to use … or whatever the reason … know that they will find a reason to “target” your school too … eventually!!!

Why do you think some school leaders today are so “quiet” when it comes to the blatant failings of (not so) Exceptional SC???  They don’t want to be “targeted” as some schools and parents have already been.  Read more here:  Racism? Favoritism? Or BOTH??

Hey, we don’t blame the school leaders or parents that remain silent … but trust that eventually … the government officials are going to come after YOU TOO!!!  

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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

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For Parents

ALEC gives (not so) Exceptional SC a “D-” for 2018

Permanent Law raises them from an “F” in 2016 & 2017.

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We are not the only ones that think the nation’s ONLY government run K-12 tax credit scholarship has been a total failure.  The national conservative group American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC) has also rated the program a big fat “D-“.

Only “Permanent Law” which was signed on May 18, 2018 raised their grade from an “F” in 2016 & 2017 when the Department of Revenue & (not so) Exceptional SC took over administration of the program from independent non-profits. #FollowTheMoney!!!

Here is the ALEC report card on (not so) Exceptional SC.

And how does (not so) Exceptional SC compare to our neighbors in Georgia? Not so good. The $100 million Georgia program got a “B+”. And what is the main difference? Georgia uses independent non-profits!!!

Remember, South Carolina is the only program in the nation (23 total programs in 18 states) that is government run. All the others are administered by independent non-profits.

As the graph above demonstrates … the exact same South Carolina program got a “B” in 2014 … when the SC program was still a year-by-year budget proviso and run by independent non-profits.

The solution is simple and obvious to everyone … the only question is will legislators finally fix this debacle in the 2020 legislative session? Stay tuned …

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