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11/10/2016

Nov. 15 Forum to Discuss Consequences of Act 388 on Education

Quick Facts

 Ten years ago, the S.C. General Assembly passed Act 388, which shifted the burden of paying for public school operations from homeowners to businesses and onto an increased sales tax.
 As the S.C. Legislature prepares to take another hard look at the state’s tax policy, the West Forum will host the “Act 388 Revisited” event.
 A panel representing business, academia and public schools will discuss the Act's impact at 6 p.m. on Nov. 15 in the Richardson Ballroom of the DiGiorgio Campus Center.

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Elizabeth Owen
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Katarina Moyon
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy at Winthrop University will host a discussion about the consequences of Act 388 on education in South Carolina. Rock Hill attorney Elizabeth Smith Owen will moderate the Nov. 15 event.

Ten years ago, the S.C. General Assembly passed Act 388, which shifted the burden of paying for public school operations from homeowners to businesses and onto an increased sales tax. Since then, many have complained about the law’s unintended consequences, such as placing a burden on businesses and renters, and serious shortfalls in money for schools and local governments.

As the S.C. Legislature prepares to take another hard look at the state’s tax policy, the West Forum will host the “Act 388 Revisited” event. It is the first of three sessions called “Palmetto Focus: A Series on the Issues in South Carolina.”

A panel representing business, academia and public schools will discuss the Act's impact at 6 p.m. on Nov. 15 in the Richardson Ballroom of the DiGiorgio Campus Center.

The panelists will be:
Robert Davis, former chief financial officer, Richland School District Two.
Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, and a former state representative who voted for the Act when it was passed.
Holley Ulbrich, Alumni Distinguished Professor Emerita of economics at Clemson University.

Owen, the moderator and an attorney with the Morton & Gettys law firm, practices education law which includes counseling school districts on topics ranging from social media issues and legal compliance to general liability.

“What we’ve seen in the politics of our state and our county for some time now is people talking past each other,” Morton & Gettys co-founder John Gettys said about the series of forums. “Nobody listens; they’re too busy thinking about the next thing they’ll say in the argument. We need to get back to having real conversations. Rock Hill is a wonderful community, still a small town in a lot of ways, and we can still have conversations like that.”

Morton & Gettys sought to partner with the West Forum on the forums. Forum Co-director Katarina Moyon said that Winthrop is committed to promoting civic engagement and raising issues important to South Carolinians. “The Palmetto Focus series is the perfect venue for these conversations to occur. Dialogue among groups is the basis for civil society, and we wish to promote this among all generations in our state,” Moyon said.

Those unable to attend the event on Nov. 15 can watch via Facebook Live at the West Forum’s page.

The Palmetto Focus series will have two additional sessions, scheduled for early 2017, prompting discussions about both health care and race in South Carolina.

For more information, contact Moyon at moyonk@winthrop.edu.

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