Current SC Legislation 2021-2022

Thanks for your interest and concern on current SC legislation 2021-2022. I provide this information to help us all keep informed. If you have information on pending legislation that might affect homeschooling, please email the homeschoolingsc@gmail.com or Facebook message the SC Homeschooling Connection.

This post was updated:12/14/2021. I encourage you to look back at previous sessions to see what bills were previously introduced because we can anticipate variations of them will likely be reintroduced in this session: 2019-2020 Session and 2017-2018 Session.




We begin a new legislative session in 2021. It’s a 2-year session. So, bills that are introduced here will remain on our watch list and mentions thru May 2022. This blog began in 2013 when our homeschool rights came under fire here in South Carolina. It’s a work in progress for us to keep watch and protect our rights.

I provide the direct link so you can read the legislation for yourself and see where it is in the process. I want us all to be informed and empowered to get involved in this process.

SC Legislation 2021-2022 Watch List

These are not a red-alert situation. The legislative process is long–and we have key opportunities to give feedback in the process. So I will also include or update that information, who and when you should contact. Depending on where the bill is in the process, your rep may not be informed on the issue. Many times, we need to contact the committee and/or the committee members where the bill has been referred instead of our local reps.

When are first introduced, they are referred to a committee. They may or may not make it out of committee, depending if they get a hearing. Here’s what I’m watching so far. Please contact the committee chair, the sponsors of the bill and/or your local representative with your feedback.

S933: Homeschool Tax Credit. (Support/Monitor)
This bill provides for a tax credit for homeschoolers. I know many homeschoolers are concerned about strings attached to “government money”–so here’s an article about tax credit concerns.
A tax credit is when you get to keep your own money/pay less into the government. The only proof needed for claiming this deduction is your membership card/letter to your accountability association.
Referred to Committee on Finance (12/7/21)

Similar: 

  • H4575: Same wording at the Tax Credit bill in the Senate. They both have lots of sponsors. By introducing companion bills in both sides of the legislature, it is meant to gain traction so that which ever one crosses over to the other side is already familiar.
    Referred to Ways & Means Committee: 11/17/2021
  • S903: “Providing Academic Choice in Education”. This is a tax credit for contributions specifically to PACE Scholarship program. It’s my understanding that tax credits are currently only available for contributions to the state-run Exceptional Needs Children’s Fund. (Homeschoolers are named in this, but not eligible to apply for the scholarships).
    Referred to Committe on Finance: 12/06/2021

H3031: “One Year Prior” for Equal Access. Green light…we want this one to move forward! (Actively/Enthusiastically Support)
This bill would remove the “one year prior” rule that disqualifies eligible athletes for a year, when they switch to homeschooling. We are absolutely in favor of this bill moving forward! I invite and encourage the homeschool community to join me in petitioning our Education Subcommittee legislators to  give a hearing. This is an idea that has come up before. I believe if we push together, we can make it happen this session. Please add your support by signing this petition: Remove One-Year-Prior Rule for Equal Access
Referred to committee 1/12/21

Similar:

  • H3925: Waives “certain limitations” on homeschooler student eligibility to participate in public school interscholastic activities for 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. However, this one is vague about what the limitations are, and limited for specific school years.
    Signed by the Governor 4/16/2021: This is a law effective for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school year
  • S615: Amends the limitations on private school participants only, not homeschoolers. The wording is weird, which would make the law more confusing.
    Referred to Committee: 2/25/21



H3164: AP (and other testing) available for Homeschoolers (Actively/Enthusastically Support)
This bill would require public schools to make accommodations for homeschoolers who wish to access AP testing. Includes: PSAT/NSMQT, Pre-ACT, and College/Career Readiness Assessments. These tests are administered during the school day at the local schools. It’s been an ongoing issue for homeschoolers (and even virtual school students) to access these tests. It currently is entirely up to the school’s discretion whether to admit our students. By making it a law, the school officials will have to comply. The wording also states that the fees for participation will be equal to the public school participants fees.
Passed the House. Crossed over to the Senate/in committee: 4/8/2021
H3976: Creation of Education Scholarship Accounts (Actively Support/Monitor)
This bill would provide ESAs to eligible students currently enrolled in public schools. Eligible applicants include children from low-income, military or foster families, children with specific special needs and children who are homeless. With an ESA, parents can direct the state’s portion of education funding for their child into school tuition, books, therapies and services of their choice. It does not affect current homeschool law. ESA participants would be accountable to the Education Oversight Committee for standards of education and approved funds. Individuals and programs may apply as providers to offer services for ESA participants.
Referred to Committee on Ways & Means 2/24/21
Similar:
  • S935: referred to Education Committee 12/07/2021
  • S 676: referred to Education Committee 8/16/2021

 

H3588: Amend Life Scholarship Eligibility with Math/English Credits for Seniors. (Oppose/monitor)
This bill would add on a specific course requirements for eligibility for LIFE scholarships. It’s vague what courses would be required. And unclear what happens with student who have taken high school Math and/or English credits in middle school, and therefore have earned the 4 credits equivalent for diploma standard and college admissions requirements.

My question/concern: Would advanced students then be required to earn a 5th or 6th credit in order to access the state scholarship? The answer: if the student has a GPA above a 4.0, then this would not be required. So, advanced students taking high school credits early, should be able to maintain the scholarship eligibility with their overall GPA. Goes into effect July 2025.
Crossed over to Senate/In Committee: 4/14/2021

H3017: Amend/expand eligiblity for Palmetto Fellows to attend 2-year institution. (Support/monitor)
Currently Palmetto Fellows is alotted for 4-year institutions. This bill would allow recipents to attend a 2-year Technical college and transfer to a 4-year program. It’s an interesting option to expand the doors of opportunity for SC grads (including homeschoolers). This scholarship was recently amended to allow a gap year between high school and starting college.
Passed into Law: Effictive 5/6/2021

 




Other Legislation to Mention

I mention these bills as well. They have only one (or two) sponsors and do not seem likely to gain any traction at this point. It’s good to know about them and consider the problems they’re trying to address.

H4396: Define Learning Pod
This bill amends the education law to identify Learning Pods as private schools and allowable as a childcare facility (not a family childcare home).
Referred to Education and Public Works Committee 5/13/2021

H4544: Family Court Divorce Cases: Jury trials and GALs (Oppose/monitor)
This biill would make it possible for jury to decide custody rather than the judge. It also requires the GAL to be an licensed attorney. I mention this legislation, because homeschooling is losing ground in family court. Judges and GALs are often biased against homeschooling–and I’ve seen many homeschool mamas lose custody because of that reason. We really need more lawyers who understand homeschool law and homeschooling.
Referred to Judiciary Committee 11/10/2021

S900: Parent Bill of Rights (Monitor)
Amends the age of consent from sixteen to eighteen concerning public education and health care providers. I mention this legislation because many homeschool advocates support all aspects of parental rights. This is not directly affecting homeschool rights.
Referred to Committee on Family & Verteran’s Services 12/06/2021

  • H4555: Prohibits certain government infringements. Referred to Judiciary: 11/10/2021
  • H3028: Pledge of Parental Involvement in Education: Referred to Education & Public Works 1/12/2021
  • H605: Prohibits Ideological Indoctrination: Referred to  Education & Public Works 11/17/2021

H3470: Lottery Assistance for Dual Enrollments. (Support/monitor)
This bill is similar to H3017 because it includes a clause about expanding Palmetto Fellows to be used at 2-year colleges. Lottery assistance money is already available for Dual Enrollments. However, this bill removes the minimum credit hours required.
Referred to committee 1/12/21

H3116: Graduation Requirements (Monitor)
This bill would require 1/2 credit of personal finance with and End of Course Exam for high school graduation. Although homeschoolers are not required to follow the diploma requirements, we do want to demonstrate an equivalent educational achievement.
Referred to Committee: 1/12/21

H3355 and H3143 (or H3136) Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholarship Eligibility (monitor).
These bills propose to remove certain eligibility requirements for state scholarships. One suggests removing the standardized test score of ACT/SAT requirements for eligibility. The other suggests making eligibility by credit hours attempted. Each session there are bills to change these state scholarship requirements. The regulations for our state scholarships are set by the legislature, not just the policies of the Commission on Higher Ed. We watch these proposed changes because we want our homeschool grads to have equal opportunities for college scholarships.
Referred to Committee: 1/12/21

H3023 Attendance requirement (monitor)
This bill proposes to extend the age of compulsory attendance from 17 to 18 years. Students can still graduate younger. This is about trying to keep track of kids who are more likely going to drop out, so try to make them stay in school longer.
Referred to Committee: 1/12/21

 

H3102 Abolish Education Oversight Committee (monitor)
This bill proposes a solution for restructuring public education. The system is broken–so, here’s an idea about how to fix it. Not sure it will go anywhere.
Referred to Committee: 1/12/21

  • Similar: H4577 Abolish Education Oversight Committee and Commission on Higher Education. Referred to Judiciary Committee 11/17/2021

H3445: Delete Superintendent of Education from State Officers (monitor)
This bill would make the Superintendent of Education an office that is appointed by the Governor. It’s also worth noting this was an item for general election voter input in 2018. Voters rejected this change.
Referred to Committee: 1/12/21

H3240: Create Study Committee for Public Education outcomes.
This bill proposes to study the learning outcomes for racial and ethnic differences. Providing feedback to improve outcomes.
Referred to Committee: 1/12/21

This session is likely going to be a busy one. With all the attention on education because of Covid–there’s plenty of concerns about how to fix our educational system and how to ensure equal opportunities for all our students. Stay tuned for updates on this post. And I welcome others to jump in to help us keep watch together!

Read more about Understanding the Legislation Process: 




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About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!

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