Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.
In this case, the other side of the fence is Iowa.
While the majority of lawmakers in Columbia have dismissed or fought against embracing substantial education reform, Iowa has buckled down to providing the best education possible for students. In 2006, the Hawkeye State launched a school choice program using tuition tax credits to make scholarships available to low income parents.
The Heartland Institute published this story covering the implementation and expansion of the relatively new school choice program. In less than a year the $5 million contribution cap for Iowa’s STO Tax Credit has jumped to $7.5 million, with $10 million just around the corner. Think about what the South Carolina legislature has done to really improve education in the last year, or three years, or ten years?
Drawing a blank?
The most glaring difference between Iowa and South Carolina is that IOWA IS DOING SOMETHING. In the three years that the South Carolina General Assembly has been gunning down school choice, no move has been made that would bring real change for the scores of thousands trapped in failing public schools. Iowa Senator Rob Hogg (a Democrat) made a common assessment that lawmakers in South Carolina would do well to digest. “There are some party differences, but what you see is that while we need to meet our obligation to public schools, that isn’t exclusive of our support for private schools.”