Lawmakers consider another school choice bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Proponents of private school choice are back before the South Carolina Legislature.

Bills that use tax credits to help parents offset the cost of private tuition are up for debate in Senate and House subcommittees on Wednesday. Both proposals are identical.

They represent the fourth version of legislation first rolled out by former Gov. Mark Sanford in 2004.

The basics are the same. Parents who can afford to foot the tuition upfront could claim a credit on their income taxes, while poor parents could apply for a scholarship. The people and businesses that donate toward those scholarships take the tax credit.

But the latest version differs in the amount of the scholarship or credit and specifies that parents of kids already in private school won't be eligible for several years.

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