South Carolina Governor McMaster Expands Educational Opportunities

South Carolina

Today, Governor Henry McMaster announced a historic investment to meet the educational needs of working families suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19. The Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE) Grants program creates scholarship accounts for 5,000 low- and middle-income families to cover tuition and fees, including transportation, at participating South Carolina independent schools. It will be funded by $32 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

“The SAFE Grants will be a lifeline to economically hard-hit families to keep their children in school. Amid uncertainty around the upcoming school year, families should not have to worry about having to pull their children from schools where they are thriving. If even a portion of students currently enrolled in private schools return to their local districts because they can no longer pay tuition or their schools close, the cost to states and localities would be great. Thanks to the bold leadership of Governor Henry McMaster, all South Carolina students will benefit from the federal CARES Act funding.”

Tom Greene, Vice President of Advocacy, ExcelinEd


“Most independent schools in South Carolina serve low- and moderate-income families. These families and schools have been hit hard. Education decisions that will shape children’s futures are being made now. SAFE Grants will allow children to continue to learn in the schools they love and prevent already over-stressed public schools from being overrun.


“COVID-19 hasn’t discriminated between the learning and health of public and private school students and neither should we. Congress clearly intended all students to benefit from these resources. While public schools receive the lion’s share of CARES Act funding, every student’s education has been impacted, and every student deserves our help. I applaud Governor McMaster for his bold leadership in creating this program to support students wherever they learn.”

Ellen Weaver, President, Palmetto Promise Institute

For more information on South Carolina’s SAFE Grants program, visit

Solution Areas:

Private Education Choice


Education Scholarship Accounts