Now that the state of South Carolina has forced private nonprofits to shut down that had been raising money for the state’s private school choice program, over $42,000 in donations have been transferred to a new state program to do the same thing.
State legislators voted earlier this year to end the private scholarship granting organizations and establish a state-run program earlier this year after learning that at least one of the private groups was improperly distributing grants.
According to The State newspaper, the private nonprofits had to end operations and transfer any remaining donations to a new state-run nonprofit to provide private school tuition grants to children with disabilities by Aug. 1.
The limited school choice program began in 2014 as a way for taxpayers to claim tax credits for donations towards the private school tuition of special-needs students. Those taxpayers were able to claim a credit worth up to either $10,000 or 60 percent of their tax liability (whichever is lower) for donations to the private scholarship granting organizations.
But a state audit found that at least one of the nonprofits was giving scholarships to students whose parents had contributed money to it, a violation of the state law. In response, legislators voted this spring to turn the program over to state Department of Revenue. SCDOR began “Exceptional SC” this year and has reported more than $4 million in donations so far.