FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Columbia, SC – Today, Palmetto Promise Institute congratulated the board of Exceptional SC, South Carolina’s tax credit scholarship program for children with exceptional needs, on the largest amount raised in the history of the program.
Last year, with the scholarship’s future in doubt, House Ways & Means Chairman Brian White took the lead to give the effort a second chance by reorganizing the program into a single, non-profit scholarship funding organization, governed by a coalition of private school associations.
Since that time, the Exceptional SC board of directors has met a challenging timeline to reconstruct the program and provide continuity for concerned families. To date, Exceptional SC has:
- Raised just over $9.2 million in donated tax liability for scholarships. This exceeds the $8 million raised for the prior school year and represents a significant milestone for the new program.
- Awarded scholarships to all eligible children who received first semester scholarships. This entails 1,342 students, at 114 schools, with individual scholarships averaging around $3,472.
- Stated that new scholarship applicants (approximately 600) on the waiting list may receive scholarships as additional money is raised. There is just under $800,000 remaining to hit the available $10 million cap for the 2016-17 school year.
- Awarded the entire available $2 million in refundable parental tax credits.
Commenting on the news, Palmetto Promise Institute Senior Fellow Dr. Oran Smith stated, “This strong progress made by Exceptional SC in the face of significant obstacles is encouraging. This is exactly what we predicted would occur if the program were given a second chance. We are thankful that lawmakers understood the significance of supporting these exceptional students.”
Looking to the future, Palmetto Promise Institute President Ellen Weaver said, “With the program now on stable footing and nearly $25 million in tuition support requested by eligible students, lawmakers should raise the statewide credit cap to fully fund current students and ensure that no deserving family is turned away.”
She continued, “They should also move the program into permanent law to give certainty to families. This is one critical way that South Carolina can advance the goal of helping every student in our state reach their full, God-given potential.”
Individuals and businesses may still donate for this school year from their 2017 South Carolina tax liability. To learn more about the program and donate, visit www.ExceptionalSC.org.