South Carolina

School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

No-

Charters must organize as nonprofits

SECTION 59-40-40(3). Definitions.

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Did not find-

We did not find information about caps on charter schools in South Carolina statutes. However, Education Commission of the States states that South Carolina does not have caps on charters.

Education Commission of the States 50 State Comparison

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

No-

"The State is not responsible for student transportation to a charter school unless the charter school is designated by the local school district as the only school selected within the local school district's attendance area."

SECTION 59-40-50(D). Exemption; powers and duties; admission to charter school.

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

Yes-

Charters can hire non-certified teachers in a ratio of up to 25% of its entire teacher staff. A converted charter school shall hire in its discretion non-certified teachers in a ratio of up to 10% of its entire teacher staff. However, in either a new or converted charter school, a teacher teaching in the core academic areas as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind law must be certified in those areas or possess a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the subject he or she is hired to teach.

SECTION 59-40-50(B)(5). Exemption; powers and duties; admission to charter school.

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Unclear-

South Carolina statutes allow for the South Carolina Virtual School Program, not clear whether or not students can attend full-time.

"It is the purpose of the General Assembly, in this chapter to establish the South Carolina Virtual School Program to ensure consistent high quality education for the students of South Carolina utilizing technology-delivered courses." Schools can use technology to deliver instruction to provide effective alternatives for credit recovery, meeting graduation requirements, resolving scheduling conflicts, delivering curriculum content when there is a shortage of certified personnel, providing a more flexible and individualized instructional pace, and offering low-incidence courses.

"The virtual education program shall not award a South Carolina High School diploma."

SECTION 59-16-10(B). Legislative findings.
SECTION 59-16-15(A). Virtual education program; eligibility; grades; exams; computer equipment and internet access.

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Unclear-

"The State Board of Education shall develop guidelines and promulgate regulations to include, but may not be limited to, the following:
(7) process for maintaining student records and reporting and recording grades on the student's transcript"

SECTION 59-16-40.(7) Guidelines and regulations.

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

No-

Teachers must hold a valid teaching certificate in each content area being taught or approval from the State Department of Education to teach the course.

SECTION 59-16-20.(D): Housing and management of program; standards for courses; instructor certification and training.

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

No-

No voucher programs found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

Yes-

South Carolina statutes allow for the Refundable Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children.

SECTION 12-6-3790. Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children's Fund.

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Not Applicable-

However, for the education credit program, eligible schools include "independent schools including those religious in nature, other than a public school"

SECTION 12-6-3790.(A)(1): Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children's Fund.

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Not Applicable-

However, "Tax credits authorized by subsection (H)(1) and subsection (I) annually may not exceed cumulatively a total of twelve million dollars for contributions to the Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children's Fund, unless an increased limit is authorized in the annual general appropriations act."

SECTION 12-6-3790.(D)(1)(a) : Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children's Fund.

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Not Applicable

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Not Applicable

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Not Applicable

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes-

Charters: A child who resides in a school district other than the one where a charter school is located may attend a charter school outside his district of residence; however, the receiving charter school shall have authority to grant or deny permission for the student to attend pursuant to Sections 59-40-40(2)(b) and 59-40-50(B)(7) and (8) according to the terms of the charter after in-district children have been given priority in enrollment

Other schools: "If school children in one county reside closer to schools in an adjacent county, they may attend such schools upon the school authorities of the county of their residence arranging with the school officials of the adjacent county for such admission and upon payment of appropriate charges as herein authorized."

"When it shall so happen that any person is so situated as to be better accommodated at the school of an adjoining school district, whether special or otherwise, the board of trustees of the school district in which such person resides may, with the consent of the board of trustees of the school district in which such school is located, transfer such person for education to the school district in which such school is located, and the trustees of the school district in which the school is located shall receive such person into the school as though he resided within the district."

SECTION 59-63-480. Attendance at schools in adjacent county.
SECTION 59-63-480. Attendance at schools in adjacent county.
SECTION 59-63-490. Transfer to adjoining school district.

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

Did not find

Page last updated: January 2020

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The content contained herein is currently under review by state policy experts. This beta version of the Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes. This information is current through the second legislative session of 2019. The information contained here does not reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. Additionally, the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. As previously indicated, information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. This site contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.