Columbia, SC - The South Carolina State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that could potentially revolutionize the state's education system. Known as the Providing Academic Choice in Education (PACE) Act, S. 285 will now move on to the State House of Representatives before it reaches the Governor's desk.
This bill aims to address the lack of quality education options in the state, which has consistently ranked among the lowest education rankings in the country. The PACE Act will allow more school choices for South Carolina students, giving families more control over their children's education and potentially boosting academic performance.
The bill proposes to create an Academic Choice in Education fund (ACE), which will be provided on behalf of eligible students by nonprofit scholarship funding organizations for qualifying expenses, such as tuition, textbooks, and other educational materials. Eligible students include general children, disadvantaged children, exceptional needs children, and home school children who are not already recipients of an Education Scholarship Trust Fund.
The eligible schools under this bill include independent schools, including religious ones, which offer a general education to primary or secondary school students and have an educational curriculum that includes courses set forth in the state's diploma requirements.
These schools must also have facilities that are subject to applicable federal, state, and local laws and are members in good standing of specific organizations or accredited by specific accreditation bodies.
The passage of this bill is being hailed as a positive step towards improving education in South Carolina, and many are hopeful that it will bring much-needed change to the state's education system.