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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

BRUTAL day at the Supreme Court – for the opposition!

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SAFE Grants Case Update (09/18/2020): You never know which way it will go with our SC Courts, but after watching 1 1/2 hours of oral arguments before the SC Supreme Court today … this was BRUTAL!!!

You can watch the full video on our Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/123595537849390/videos/1041298452967887

The “farce” which is Governor McMaster’s (#Duped by #PaidAdvocates) July 20th announcement of a $32 million allocation of CARES Act money (TO PALMETTO PROMISE TO “MANAGE” … lol) was IMMEDIATELY sued on CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES and a temporary injunction granted by the trial court.

Due to the urgency of the matter, our SC Supreme Court took it up directly … and the hearing was today. Again … it was BRUTAL (for our opposition)!!!!

One issue … the SC Constitutional prohibition of “public funds” being used for the “direct benefit of any religious or other private educations institution” went worse than we even expected. The Chief Justice made it clear that he did not agree with Governor McMaster’s attorney. WOW!!!

The other big issue was whether CARES Act money was even able to be used for private schools. The Governor’s attorney argued that the Governor had “discretion” … using that word probably 20 + times … to which one Justice responded:

I had my law clerks do a word search of the CARES Act, and the word “discretion” does not exist in the entire document.

See what we mean by … BRUTAL!!!

THAT WAS NOT ALL … apparently, not one, but THREE Federal Court Judges have RULED AGAINST the use of CARES Act dollars for privates schools. That was a hot topic at the SC Supreme Court and when the Justices dove into the specific sections … yes, the Justices were prepared … it seemed plainly obvious to spectators that the Governor does not have the authority under the CARES Act (regardless of the SC Constitution) to direct this funding to private schools. BRUTAL!!!

ONCE AGAIN … kids not getting help because of the PAID ADVOCATES pushing a GOVERNMENT RUN private school choice solution to benefit their monied special interest donors. #FollowTheMoney #RealSchoolChoice #SchoolChoice!!! #Corruption #SafeGrants not safe!!!

THE SOLUTION?: Easy!!! This would NEVER happen (per rulings in the US SUPREME COURT & 20+ years of proven history) with K-12 Tax Credit Scholarships run by INDEPENDENT NON-PROFITS. The opposition does not like it, but it is the ONLY solution that works.

Another school choice debacle in SC … created by the “paid” advocates. Who would have guessed!?!?!

Hint … Governor McMaster …… STOP listening to the SPECIAL INTEREST!!!! Put our Palmetto Kids FIRST!!!

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For Parents

More CHAOS at SCDOR … Delays AGAIN!!!

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You guessed it … the SC Department of Revenue announced a “new” system for applying for the $2 MILLION of Parental Tax Credits this year … and then they DELAYED its roll-out by 3 + months!!!  

DO THEY DO THIS ON PURPOSE???
 What is this … the 5th year they have been doing this???  Still can’t figure it out???

Perhaps because they can’t copy any other state’s process … because NO OTHER STATE has this flawed refundable tax credit the like and size of the one in SC!!! Sure, a couple hundred dollars, apply for it on your tax return … but not this MESS that SC has. 

Why? Simple … IT DOES NOT WORK (plus a host of other reasons)!!!

OH … and shouldn’t SCDOR & Director Hartley Powell be trying to figure out ways to ACCELERATE PAYMENTS to parents … especially during COVID-19? Not our SCDOR.

But then again … our SCDOR recommended #1 the GOVERNMENT RUN the program … and #2 THIS GUY hired Chad Connelly … so what would you expect.

By Law, SCDOR “administers” the program.
Hartley Powell HIRED Chad Connelly!!!
SCDOR “recommended” this change … will they fix it???

Stay tuned for more info …  https://dor.sc.gov/exceptional-sc

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For Parents

Which Children To Leave Behind???

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Still NOTHING From Exceptional SC!!! It has been three weeks since #FireChadConnelly was let go and #RemoveTomPersons resigned from Exceptional SC Board. 

We received the updated fundraising numbers from the SC Department of Revenue … and they are on track to raise “only” $1.6 MILLION in 2020.

So where is Exceptional SC???  

The Fall Semester is here … the promised funding is not … there is not even a plan in place on what to expect …. no communications whatsoever!!! Politics over children … AGAIN?

We offered a solution … to raise the full 2020 available $12 million by 12/31 …. and next year’s available $12 million in early January 2021.  That is $24 MILLION by 1/31/2021!!!

Yet we are hearing Exceptional SC Board Members are holding out … REMAINING SILENT for a PROMISED $7.5M “bonus”.

CARES ACT MONEY???  Rumor from legislators now is that the Governor is going to “give” Exceptional SC $7.5 MILLION from his CARES Act money.  Where did they come up with that number?  From the $7.5 MILLION that Chad Connelly LOST in 2019.  Where is the logic there???

Well … a $7.5 MILLION free “bonus” would be nice … but we have heard these “rumors” many, many , many times before …

>  30 days ago we heard it was going to be $15 MILLION.  What happened to that?
>  We also heard our kids with “special needs” were going to be included in the $32.5 MILLION S.A.F.E. Grants.  What happened there?  We were left out.
>  “If” this $7.5 MILLION was real … why not TELL PARENTS!?!?!?!  Put it in writing???  Announce it!!!

What do we teach our children … 

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