Parents in Charge Foundation board, staff, and members are proud to report the following successes:
Parents in Charge Foundation determined that Arizona was ripe for a full public debate over school choice in early 2002. School choice has been one of the most hotly contested issues before the Arizona Legislature in both legislative sessions since the program began. A corporate tax credit for choice has passed the legislature this year, but was vetoed by the Governor. However, she signed off on a measure increasing the tax credit ceiling for couples from $625 to $1,000 per year.
Parents in Charge Foundation determined that Colorado was ripe for a full public debate over school choice in early 2002. The Foundation undertook grassroots education of the public on the key issues involved and engaged in all forms of media to involve the general public. As a result of the groundwork laid by Parents in Charge Foundation, legislators in Colorado enacted a school choice program in early 2003. Unfortunately, it is tied up in litigation on a state constitutional issue.
District of Columbia
During the 2004 debate over the District of Columbia school choice pilot program, Parents in Charge Foundation realized that the debate in the Congress was not only to be fought in Washington, but also in the states--where the constituents of the members lived and voted. Accordingly, Parents in Charge Foundation undertook extensive public opinion research and education in 12 states.
During the 2002 election campaign for Governor, the challenger, Bill McBride, called for the repeal of the $3,500 corporate tax credit aimed at low-income and at-risk children. McBride was not arming citizens with the facts. This was particularly true in the African-American community. Parents in Charge Foundation launched a program to get solid facts and information to citizens with children in the African-American community in Broward and Dade counties. This program created a great deal of pressure on McBride to acknowledge the success of the program and was seen as a vital new link in building support for school choice in the minority community.
During the 2008 legislative session, the Georgia State Legislature passed, and Governor Sonny Purdue signed, legislation that would create a tax credit based school choice program in Georgia. The program is similiar to the program that Arizona has already enacted, and will tax credits of $2,500 for married couples and $1,000 for single individuals.
Over the past 24 months, Parents in Charge Foundation has been a key participant in the school choice movement in South Carolina. PIC sponsored the Fiscal Impact Study by Professor Cotton M. Lindsay of Clemson University. This study not only demonstrated that school choice was viable, but that it would actually save the state money over time.
Parents in Charge Foundation co-sponsored trips by political, religious and community leaders, including Governor Sanford, to Milwaukee to learn about the very successful school choice program there. These trips had a significant impact on the participants and their understanding on the positive impacts of school choice.
The Foundation also co-sponsored a school choice rally in February of 2005 that was attended by about 4,000 citizens from all over the state. This rally was the largest grassroots event in Columbia in several years and was highlighted by a speech by Governor Sanford as well as community leaders.
PIC's long-term commitment in South Carolina has paid off with very close working relationships with local grassroots activists and organizations all across the state, much of which is reflected in this proposal.