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For Parents

#FireChadConnelly … FIRED?!?!?

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Saturday before last we shared with you the actual JUNE 30, 2020 Exceptional SC bank statements.  The SC Department of Revenue provided them to us … and unfortunately these official documents exposed the real truth … only  $107,338.68 (less outstanding checks) in the bank … and only $8.91 in their brokerage account.

This past week we keep hearing the “chatter” from multiple unrelated sources … is all abuzz with TWO CLAIMS:

#FireChadConnelly (and his entire “team”) are GONE … 

 #RemoveTomPersons is OUT as Board Chairman and OFF the Board completely…

Finally … the straw that broke the camel’s back … And as people say … LinkedIN never lies.  Chad Connelly was super quick at updating his business profile online.  It is pretty easy to tell where his priorities have always been with his LinkedIN:

No formal announcement … as of yet … although FITSNews broke the story on Saturday:

https://www.fitsnews.com/2020/08/01/south-carolinas-government-run-school-choice-program-is-in-trouble/ 

Obviously this is HUGE NEWS … and there has been no “formal” announcement from Exceptional SC … but we do not think this is an episode of “Punked” … the sources are too numerous and too broad and too unrelated to each other … and as we said this is LONG OVERDUE … so not unexpected at all.

WHY are Connelly & Persons GONE … as if we have to tell you, right?  Most of you know.  Look above … only $40 / incumbent is in the bank today, and we have schools starting next week.  10% scholarships last semester … so families expecting $5,000 only received $500 … and all new families received ZERO.  Tons of problems … big and small … including multiple data breaches … and worst of all … these two people (Connelly & Persons) actively opposed changes and fixes that would have FULLY FUNDED all of our kids … but in doing so would have cut-off their “personal” money flow and control over the program.  All because they did not want this program to be run by independent non-profits … just like EVERY OTHER STATE IN THE NATION for 300,000 students annually.

Connelly & Persons picked themselves over the children … and that was nothing less than unforgivable.  #FollowTheMoney!!!

And then there is the 2% Administrative Fee Cap … and allegations of EMBEZZLEMENT.  That all came out January 25th, 2020 … based on CPA & DOR financial reports.  It is ongoing and not going to be pretty when it all comes out (hopefully sooner rather than later with these new developments) … but if anything … this overspending may be the straw that broke the camel’s back … at least with the SC Department of Revenue. 

Nobody seemed to care (other than a few of our legislator friends … not even the mainstream press) when kids did not get funding … and schools were closing over this mess … but when “important” people might have serious legal liability … and perhaps criminal charges … that fear perhaps is what spurred someone to ACT … finally!!! 

The ongoing question?  So, was all this apparently illegal activity limited to just Chad Connelly and Tom Persons … who seemed to be driving the ship into the ground and refusing all requests for transparency … and were aided by their CPA Firm (who is now not “independent” … which is a huge red flag) & their lawyer(s) …. and backed up by the SC Department of Revenue (who actively opposes this program for political reasons) … or is it a broader problem?

More to come on all of this … we are sure.

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For Parents

“Real” School Choice Bill Is Here

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County Republican Parties (although this should not be a partisan issue) from around South Carolina are  coming together to support “real” school choice … and to FIX the (not so) Exceptional SC debacle.

On Monday, December 6th, 2021, Senator Tom Davis (R – Beaufort) filed S903 … the PACE Scholarship Bill.  Senator Brian Adams (R – Dorchester / Berkeley) who has been working with our friends in the Dorchester County Republican Party promptly joined on.

P.A.C.E Scholarship, a $100 MILLION school choice scholarship tax credit bill is out. 

>  $25 Million for Exceptional Needs (our hot issue)

>  $25 Million for Disadvantaged / Low-Income

>  $10 Million for Home School

>  $40 Million for Kids moving from Public to Independent Schools (just like in Georgia)

https://www.palmettokidsfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/PACEBill.pdf

The below graphic is the general structure.  For our families, no real change except that Exceptional SC will be gone (finally) and INDEPENDENT NON-PROFITS will raise the tax credit donations and issue scholarships.  Same qualifications to receive a scholarship … and same $11,000 maximum … only difference is this structure works everywhere!!! 

Email or call us with any questions.  We will let you know how you can help make this a reality in the coming weeks.  #NeverSurrender!!!

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For Parents

PKF FLASHBACK: “Who” Recommended this (not so) Exceptional SC

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FLASHBACK – “Who” Destroyed SC Private School Choice Program: Remember, it was May 2016 … the Department of Revenue had already finished their nefarious politically targeted faux “audit” of Palmetto Kids FIRST.  The Department, obviously working on behalf of nefarious legislators, claimed they wanted “peace” and just compliance with the law (although we did comply completely by the way, which is why they refused to shut us down as then we would prove it in COURT).  But in the last 45 MINUTES of the SC Legislative Session that year, the proposal was brought up and passed to give 100% control the the GOVERNMENT … 100% control of the ENTIRE PROGRAM.

They couldn’t shut us down, they couldn’t stop us from raising the tax credits and issuing scholarships, they couldn’t stop us from making the program successful … so they proposed taking over the ENTIRE PROGRAM … and where are we today???  Complete failure and the Nation’s Worst Rated Independent School Choice Program.

YES, these nefarious parties (generally Republicans and their “monied” special interest and “paid” advocates) got everything they wanted … they DESTROYED independent school choice in SC … and many lives and schools in the process.  

And guess “who” came up with and/or supported the idea that DESTROYED independent school choice in SC … as an “Independent Conservative Think Tank” … Jim DeMint, Ellen Weaver & Palmetto Promise Institute!!!

https://www.palmettokidsfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/2016-05-2X-PPI-Legislative-Analysis-ECENC.pdf?ct=t%282021-10-30+-+Palmetto+Kids+FIRST%29

#FollowTheMoney

You won’t find that “Legislative Analysis” on the Palmetto Promise Institute website anymore … nor will you find the multiple other MAJOR “flubs”.  They really are WRONG on A LOT of things … and history has proven it … and we have saved it all.

REMEMBER THIS DEBACLE?  It was our October 1, 2016 Saturday Morning Parents Update.  Ellen Weaver & Palmetto Promise “congratulated” Nevada … they were legitimately happy with the result even though all the kids suffered and the PROGRAM was completely shut down … and NO CHILDREN ever received a scholarship. 

It was the biggest debacle in School Choice History (perhaps until Tennessee in 2020 which they supported too).

On September 29th, 2016, Ellen Weaver & Palmetto Promise “congratulated” Nevada … while that same day the Republican Governor of Nevada confirmed the ruling KILLED the ESA program … and the Republican State Treasurer who had pushed for the program APOLOGIZED to the families hurt by this whole debacle.  But Palmetto Promise was happy???  It really is sick.

SUMMER 2020 – the $32 MILLION Debacle:  And nobody is going to forget the debacle last summer … and the $1.4 MILLION ClassWallet “contract.  That was another brainchild of the FAIL policies of Jim DeMint, Ellen Weaver & Palmetto Promise Institute.

It is all pretty sick stuff … but why do we care?  Because this week SC State Superintendent of Education, Molly Spearman, announced she will not be running for re-election.  Ok, so what?

Well … Ellen Weaver is rumored to be running for the position.

She / they / the “monied” special interest want her to RUN all of SC Education!!!

Is this what the call “failing up”???

More to come … but stay tuned!!!

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For Parents

Only $165,579 raised in September

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Friends, it is not really getting any better is it? 

Our personal SC State Representative, Jason Elliott (R – Greenville) … not someone we like anymore as he has lied to us for years now and is working with his PAID ADVOCATE “masters” at Palmetto Promise Institute (Jim DeMint, Ellen Weaver & “Dr.” Oran Smith) … promised that his bill H 3899 that became law on May 17th, 2021 would fix everything. 

IT HAS NOT!!! 

On September 14th, 2021, (not so) Exceptional SC announced that there would be NO FALL SCHOLARSHIPS.  Why?  Because they don’t have the money because Rep. Jason Elliott’s H 3899 was a LIE and a COMPLETE FAILURE!!!

#FollowTheMoney!!!!

We dug the top picture up from the archives … what Jason told us a while back.  The schools are satisfied???  #Really???  He doesn’t respond anymore … curious why?  Sad …

And this from last summer / fall.  Remember Jason & Palmetto Promise Institute‘s other bright idea.  A lawsuit was filed the day after their idea was announced … and the trial court IMMEDIATELY SHUT IT DOWN!!!

And a few months  later in October the SC SUPREME COURT ruled their MONIED SPECIAL INTEREST plan UNCONSITUTIONAL!!!

But guess what … in September 2021 … they have figured it out now???  Back pushing the same MONIED SPECIAL INTEREST PLAN!!!  Anybody buying this???

Shame on YOU Rep. Jason Elliott!!!

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