The Buckeye Institute Joins Brief in South Carolina School Choice Case

Feb 01, 2024

Columbus, OH – On Thursday, The Buckeye Institute joined with Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) in filing an amicus brief in Eidson v. South Carolina Department of Education, calling on the South Carolina Supreme Court to allow the implementation of the state’s Education Scholarship Trust Fund program. 

“Just as they did in Ohio—and continue to do today—entrenched special interests in South Carolina are using the courts to block a school choice program that elected representatives of the people passed and that parents—particularly low-income parents—want,” said David C. Tryon, director of litigation at The Buckeye Institute. “The South Carolina Supreme Court should tell these special interests they cannot deny families the opportunity school choice offers poor and minority students.”

In their brief, Buckeye and WILL note that, as early innovators of school choice efforts, Ohio’s and Wisconsin’s experiences demonstrate that “voters and legislators value giving parents the ability to choose the educational environment that best fits the needs of their children.”

“It’s troubling to see any attempt to deprive low-income and minority families from educational freedom. Support for school choice is growing across the nation—from Wisconsin to South Carolina,” said WILL education counsel Cory Brewer. “We ask that the South Carolina Supreme Court side with parents and the rule of law, as every child deserves a quality education.”

As the brief outlines, the turning point in Ohio’s school choice debate came when Democratic Cleveland City Councilwoman Fannie Lewis and The Buckeye Institute joined forces to host the Summit on Vouchers in 1994. The summit brought together hundreds of parents and concerned citizens, many of whom had children stuck in Cleveland’s failing public schools. The parents heard from Polly Williams, a democratic Milwaukee legislator who championed school choice in Wisconsin. This event galvanized the parents who took their demands for school choice to their elected representatives in Columbus. These efforts, combined with Republican support for school choice, led to the passage of the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program.

# # #