Honoring a Champion of Free Enterprise

Blog · April 25, 2024

Palmetto Promise has been a stalwart defender of free enterprise here in South Carolina, and this week, we had the privilege of recognizing a dedicated public servant and Champion of Free Enterprise at the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion. The Honorable Terry Branstad served as Ambassador to China in the Trump Administration from 2017-2020. Before that,

New Book Regulation Aims for Age-Appropriateness, not Book Banning

Blog · April 15, 2024
Library with many shelves and books, diminishing perspective and shallow dof

The State Department of Education (SCDE) has threaded the needle amazingly well in their recently passed new regulations for school textbooks and other curriculum materials. This is the regulation that would govern which books and other curriculum materials could be in school libraries and classrooms. Because all regulations must receive the approval of the South

School choice isn’t rare, weird, or fiscally irresponsible

Blog · April 15, 2024

A version of this commentary originally appeared in the South Carolina Daily Gazette. As the South Carolina House of Representatives was debating (and overwhelmingly passing) an expansion of the state’s Education Scholarship Trust Fund (ESTF) program, it became clear that some basic facts about the concept of “school choice” and how the ESTF program in

VOTE NOW: Policy Bracketology

Blog · April 3, 2024

We don’t know about y’all, but March Madness has the Palmetto Promise team in a bracket-making mood.  Because we’ve recently celebrated Palmetto Promise Institute’s eleventh birthday, we have been reflecting on the impact our work has had on state policy over that time and what we regard as our top accomplishments.   Naturally, these rankings found

SC House to State Universities: Stop DEI, Protect Free Speech!

Blog · March 28, 2024

Earlier this week, after hours of debate and over 100 amendments proposed (but with just one adopted) the South Carolina House of Representatives passed legislation banning Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) from hiring, promotion, and admissions policies in state colleges and universities. The measure also included language protecting free speech on campus. The vote on

Breaking Down 2024-25 ESTF Application Data

Blog · March 27, 2024

For the 2024-25 school year, South Carolina’s Education Scholarship Trust Fund (ESTF) program has 5,000 slots available to students who meet the eligibility requirements: 1) have attended a public school during the 2023-24 school year OR are entering kindergarten for the 2024-25 school year and 2) have a household income at or below 200% of