Palmetto Policy Forum Releases New Empower Opportunity School Choice Catalog Featuring Foreword From U.S. Senator Tim Scott

November 17, 2014



Greenville, S.C. – Today, at its 2nd Annual VisionSC Summit, Palmetto Policy Forum released the latest version of Empower Opportunity: Education Options for South Carolina Families. Featuring a foreword from U.S. Senator Tim Scott on the power of education choice, this groundbreaking publication is designed to equip South Carolina families with information about education options currently available to Palmetto State students.  It also highlights policy success stories in states where they have created even more choice and flexibility than currently exists here.

Empower Opportunity celebrates the stories of South Carolina families who are accessing the growing number of education options – both public and private – that are truly customized to the needs of their child.  Concurrent to its release, the Forum also launched a new website – www.mysceducation.org – which will serve as a permanent online hub for parents and students to find information and share their education stories.

Commenting on the launch of the booklet and website, Palmetto Policy Forum President Ellen Weaver said, “South Carolina has more options today than ever before, but our job’s not done.  Whether you agree or disagree with the South Carolina Supreme Court’s recent ruling on education funding, when only 49% of our low income 4th graders are reading at grade level, there is no question that our current education system is failing far too many of our children.”

She continued, “However, the answer is not simply a new funding formula or spending more money.  In fact, our research shows that Florida – which actually spends less per student than South Carolina – has closed long-standing achievement gaps by increasing parental choice, implementing robust accountability for funds already being spent and supporting good teachers.”

She concluded, “This same formula will work in South Carolina if our leaders have the courage to enact it and the Court’s ruling provides the perfect opportunity to do so.  We hope Empower Opportunity will help even more Palmetto State families take advantage of the range of choices available to them. We also hope it will inspire lawmakers with information about how, through proven policy ideas, we can continue to expand these options and unleash the potential of every South Carolina child, regardless of their income or zip code.”

In his foreword, U.S. Senator Tim Scott explained, “We have heard success stories from charter schools, online schools, home schools, technical schools, traditional schools, industry partnerships, and many other innovative ways of delivering high-quality education to kids from across South Carolina and the nation.  Every student has a unique learning style and needs, so the best thing we can do is to put all of the options on the table.”


The full online version of the Empower Opportunity catalog may be found at www.MySCEducation.org.