Palmetto Promise Submits Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of SC’s ESA Program

March 6, 2024

Today, March 6, 2024, the South Carolina Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the legal challenge to South Carolina’s Education Scholarship Trust Fund (ESTF) program, Eidson v. SC Department of Education.

Palmetto Promise has advocated for the adoption of an ESA program in South Carolina for nearly a decade. We were involved every step of the way with the passage of ESTFs last year and ardently believe that such a program is constitutional.

When the National Education Association (the NEA/SCEA) and others filed this legal challenge back in the fall, Palmetto Promise stated that the program is “clearly constitutional,” as “state aid in the ESTF is directed to students, not schools (or to the wide range of other education service providers available to parents in the ESTF).” We further noted that ESTFs operate very similarly to South Carolina’s tuition grants for higher education and First Steps for K4.

As such, we believe this litigation has no merit, and we were proud to submit an amicus curiae brief in support of the ESTF program, which allows students and families an unprecedented chance to exercise choice in their child’s K-12 schooling with a $6,000 scholarship.

You can read our full brief here: Palmetto Promise Amicus Curiae Brief in Eidson v. SC Department of Education.

As we said in October, “all students from pre-kindergarten through college, particularly those of low and moderate income, deserve the right to enjoy private education options where public options may not fit their needs.”