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Hundreds of Families Share Need for SAFE Grants Program Ahead of South Carolina Supreme Court Arguments

Today, My SC Education released a new video and interactive map documenting the stories of over 550 South Carolina families hoping to benefit from a Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE) Grant. These stories were gathered through a request sent to the over 15,000 parents who have expressed interest in the program to-date.

Common themes that emerge in these stories—which include families from every corner of the state—include lost COVID income, students with special needs who are not served well in a virtual environment, and working parents who cannot simultaneously manage their child’s education and continue to pay the bills.

One story came from the Langley family in Florence:
“When COVID hit and schools closed, I got laid off for 3 months. It was very difficult for me to homeschool 2 children because I am not a teacher, but we did our best. With too many uncertainties in the public school system, we need stability so I can work to produce an income and we can focus on learning and moving forward.”

Another came from Donna Wright of Winnsboro, an adoptive grandmother sacrificing to make ends meet:
“The choice to send our daughter to private school to give her the best opportunity will continue even with financial hardships. My financial status was cut 3/4 after my husband’s death. I will now (at age 67) begin working in the school cafeteria to help with my finances. The SAFE Grant has given me a ray of hope!”

The Green family, which hails from Columbia shared:
“I am a single parent of two boys who have ADHD learning disabilities. They are smart and learning differently.
This SAFE Grant will be a blessing to my family. I want my boys to get the best education and reach the stars.
It has been rough these few months and I feel the education has failed my boys but this SAFE Grant is giving me hope.”

Commenting on the flood of stories, My SC Education Director of Parent & Community Engagement Dr. Shaunette Parker said, “We knew that families across South Carolina are struggling to provide their children with the education they need. But the range and scope of the stories we’ve received has been truly overwhelming. We pray that justice prevails, and that SAFE Grants will eventually be a reality for these families who desperately need the hope and help they’d provide.”

My SC Education is giving voice to the real needs of real families through a #MySAFEGrantStory campaign.

The South Carolina Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in the SAFE Grants litigation of Adams, et al. v. McMaster, et al. on Friday, September 182020.

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My South Carolina Education is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational organization. My SC Education seeks to build a strong coalition of diverse community organizations, policymakers, business and religious leaders, students, parents, and educators to dramatically expand educational opportunities for students across South Carolina.