The Supreme Court of the State of South Carolina
Candace Eidson, et al., Petitioners,
South Carolina Department of Education, et al., Respondents, and Henry D. McMaster, et al., Intervenors-respondents.
Brief of Liberty Justice Center, American Federation for Children, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and Reason Foundation as Amici Curiae In Support of Respondents
The Supreme Court has stated that “[e]ducation is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments,” Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 493 (1954), and South Carolina’s Constitution charges the government with a duty to provide education to children in the state, S.C. Const. art. XI, §3.
Petitioners imply that the Education Scholarship Trust Fund Program (ESTF) will somehow hinder South Carolina in carrying that constitutional mandate.
Not so: the program is designed to provide new opportunities to all eligible families, including a diverse array of students with unique educational needs.
While everyone agrees that all children should have equal access to education, virtually no one thinks the way we educate all children should be uniform, as though we were putting children on an education assembly line. People understand that different children have different needs, preferences, strengths, and weaknesses.
School choice— like South Carolina’s ESTF program—is a tool to provide children equal access to education while recognizing that all children learn in unique ways.
Petitioners’ arguments that such programs are discriminatory cannot be reconciled with the success stories of school choice around the country.