February 13, 2016

House rejects school choice bill by 1 vote

On Wednesday, the South Carolina House of Representatives tabled a bill that would have given tax credits to the parents of some students, allowing them to attend private schools.

The idea was that the vouchers would be used to place kids from failing districts into good private schools using tax credits and tax-deductible donations from other groups.

Rep. Bill Herbkersman (R-Beaufort) supported the bill.

At the end of the day it’s about our kids. It’s about the kids in this state; the kids being able to compete in a world market, in a national market, and in some instances a state market.

However, opponents questioned the bill’s estimated $64 million dollar cost if it went into effect next year. That amount would slowly grow over time as more students became eligible for the credits.

The bill ultimately it failed to get the votes it needed to move forward. The House tabled the bill 60-59, failing by one vote. 16 Republicans voted against the bill, but 1 Democrat voted for it.

SC Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau contributed to this report

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