House panel approves bills to borrow for S.C. school districts

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina House panel has approved a bill that would allow the state to borrow money each year and either give or loan it to local districts for building projects.

Under the proposal passed Tuesday by the House Ways and Means Committee, the state will study how much debt it has, then issue up to $200 million in bonds each year.

Districts would tell the state Education Department what they need. The agency would create a priority list that legislators would vote on.

Ways and Means Chairman Brian White says the bill allows flexibility to give money to poorer districts or offer loans to districts with better tax bases.

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Gov. Nikki Haley supported the idea in her State of the State address. The bill moves to the House floor.