SC House committee approves private school choice

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A bill that uses tax credits to help parents in South Carolina send their children to private school is heading to the House floor.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted Thursday to advance the bill. Only one Democrat on the committee attended the meeting.

The bill would give tax breaks to parents who can afford to pay tuition up front. Poor parents could apply for scholarships. The people and businesses who donate toward those scholarships would take the tax break.

State budget advisers estimate the plan would cost the state $133 million annually in lost revenue when fully implemented in 13 years, with a cumulative loss of $800 million over that time.

Similar bills have died repeatedly since 2004.

A Senate committee rejected the latest plan last month.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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