In April of this year, Senator Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee) and Representative Gary Clary (R-Pickens) introduced S. 1262 and H. 5230 to amend the South Carolina Charter Schools Act (SECTION 59-40-50 & 59-40-111, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976) to allow Charter Schools to specifically serve certain educationally disadvantaged students. In short, this bill will allow Charter Schools to admit and address only students with dyslexia, autism or other named disorders.
Lakes & Bridges Charter School supported this amendment, as it will allow us to serve those who most need to be served. Before this bill, public charter schools could only admit students by lottery— so it was a random choice which students could get into Charter Schools. That means that even if we founded a school to serve students with dyslexia, any child could apply to attend, and thus some students with dyslexia would be turned away, even while a child without the disorder could get in. While we want all children to receive a quality education, the purpose of this school is to best meet the needs of children with dyslexia, so this bill would allow us to ensure that we are serving as many of them as possible.
Sen. Alexander quickly moved S. 1262 through the South Carolina Senate, and Rep. Clary was able to gain approval by the South Carolina House of Representatives on June 2. Governor Nikki Haley signed the bill into law on June 3, 2016.
All the founding members of Lakes & Bridges Charter School are incredibly grateful for the efforts of Senator Alexander and Representative Clary, as well as Governor Haley for signing this important legislation into law.
We look forward to opening our doors soon to Upstate children with dyslexia.