BRIEF: School Choice in the States – December 2021



On Dec. 14, HB 2169 was introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. This act proposes the establishment of the “Lifeline Scholarship Program.” This education savings account proposal would allow eligible students to use state adequacy and differential aid dollars towards school tuition, tutoring, curriculum, testing fees, educational software and several other approved expenses. To be eligible, a student must reside in the attendance area of a low-achieving school. Additionally, they must satisfy one of the following requirements: (1) attendance at a public school during the previous year, (2) will enter first grade during the next school year, (3) is currently in foster care or (4) has a guardian that is serving full-time active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

South Carolina

In December, S 935 and S 903 were introduced in South Carolina. HB 935 would create an education savings account. As currently drafted, the bill would create the state’s first education savings account, which would allow eligible students to access their share of state-funded education dollars. Eligible students would be limited to those students from a family with an annual adjusted gross family income of 200 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines, students who are Medicaid-eligible, students who participated in the South Carolina Early Reading Development and Education program, or students that previously received a scholarship, including those who receive the Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs scholarship. The program would have an initial cap of 5,000 students in year one with an automatic increase in the number of students able to participate with no cap after 2026. S 903 would expand South Carolina’s tax-credit scholarship program to be eligible for all children under the PACE program. If passed, the tax-credit scholarship for this program would be capped at $40 million.