Marion Mullins Christian School is able to educate children in K-12 for a tuition of $2,000 a year. Ms. Esther Sawyer, a longtime employee of the school, calls Marion Mullins “the poor man’s private school,” and has no shortage of stories about low-income parents who struggle to pay even this low tuition.
This news may come as a surprise to some opponents of school choice, who like to make the uninformed assumption that private schools are all elitist institutions pandering to affluent South Carolinians. Additionally, those who have condemned the effectiveness of a tax credit or scholarship to actually help families may be forced to reconsider. Even a $2,500 tax credit would be an incredible help to a family struggling to pay the school’s $2,000 tuition. In contrast to Marion Mullins Christian, local public schools in Marion District 7 have an amazing $14,761 to spend per student!
All around the state schools like Marion Mullins are serving -often low income- families that want something other than what local public schools have to offer. Lawmkers need to bear in mind these real educational needs, and the schools that are willing to meet them for next to nothing.