South Carolina’s ECENC helps students with special needs attend credentialed private schools. Parents can chose either tuition tax credits or scholarships funded by Exceptional SC.
Parents or guardians of exceptional needs children who attend eligible schools approved by the EOC may claim a refundable South Carolina income tax credit for out-of-pocket spending on tuition. Credits are dollar for dollar, up to $11,000, and are reserved on a first come, first served basis. There is an annual statewide limit of $2 million.
A special charity, called Exceptional SC, awards grants to exceptional needs children. These scholarship grants allow eligible children to attend participating private schools. Donors to Exceptional SC are eligible for South Carolina income tax credits.
In order to enroll these ECENC students, a school must be a private primary or secondary schools physically located within South Carolina, not discriminate on basis of race, color or national origin in their admission of students, use a curriculum which includes courses listed in state diploma requirements, use a national or state standardized testing and provide test scores to the Education Oversight Committee, have phyiscal facilities that meet local, state and/or federal laws, be a member of SACS, SCACS and/or SCISA, and complete an annual compliance audit.
The school must also support students with documented disabilities through a specially designed program or a resource center. You can look up schools and their ECENC status here.
Scholarships, or “grants,” are payments made by Exceptional SC to exceptional needs children to attend eligible schools. Grants can cover tuition, transportation, and textbook costs. No single grant may exceed $11,000.
Students who families seek grants or tuition tax credits are qualified in one of two ways. Either they have a public school issued IEP or a determination made by a qualified private provider. Click here to learn more about student eligibility.