First Steps Legislation
Title 59 - Education
SOUTH CAROLINA FIRST STEPS TO SCHOOL READINESS
SECTION 59-152-10. First Steps to School Readiness initiative
There is established South Carolina First Steps to School
Readiness, a comprehensive, results-oriented initiative for improving
early childhood development by providing, through county partnerships,
public and private funds and support for high-quality early childhood
development and education services for children by providing support for
their families' efforts toward enabling their children to reach school
ready to learn.
SECTION 59-152-20. Purpose.
The purpose of the First Steps initiative is to develop,
promote, and assist efforts of agencies, private providers, and public
and private organizations and entities, at the state level and the community
level, to collaborate and cooperate in order to focus and intensify services,
assure the most efficient use of all available resources, and eliminate
duplication of efforts to serve the needs of young children and their
families. First Steps funds must not be used to supplant or replace any
other funds being spent on services but must be used to expand, extend,
improve, or increase access to services or to enable a community to begin
to offer new or previously unavailable services in their community. The
South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees, Office
of First Steps to School Readiness, and the County First Steps Partnerships
shall assure that collaboration, the development of partnerships, and
the sharing and maximizing of resources are occurring before funding for
the implementation/management grants, as provided for in this chapter,
are made available.
SECTION 59-152-30. Goals.
The goals for South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
(1) provide parents with access to the support they might
seek and want to strengthen their families and to promote the optimal
development of their preschool children;
(2) increase comprehensive services so children have
reduced risk for major physical, developmental, and learning problems;
(3) promote high quality preschool programs that provide
a healthy environment that will promote normal growth and development;
(4) provide services so all children receive the protection,
nutrition, and health care needed to thrive in the early years of life
so they arrive at school ready to learn; and
(5) mobilize communities to focus efforts on providing
enhanced services to support families and their young children so as to
enable every child to reach school healthy and ready to learn.
SECTION 59-152-40. Board of Trustees to oversee initiative.
The South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board
of Trustees established in Section 20-7-9710 shall oversee the South Carolina
First Steps to School Readiness initiative.
SECTION 59-152-50. Office of South Carolina First Steps
to School Readiness established; duties.
Within the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
Board of Trustees, an Office of South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
shall be established. The office shall:
(1) provide to the board information on best practice,
successful strategies, model programs, and financing mechanisms;
(2) review the county partnerships' plans and budgets
in order to provide technical assistance and recommendations regarding
local grant proposals and improvement in meeting statewide and local goals;
(3) provide technical assistance, consultation, and support
to county partnerships to facilitate their success including, but not
limited to, model programs, strategic planning, leadership development,
best practice, successful strategies, collaboration, financing, and evaluation;
(4) recommend to the board the applicants meeting the
criteria for First Steps partnerships and the grants to be awarded;
(5) submit an annual report to the board by December
first which includes, but is not limited to, the statewide needs and resources
available to meet the goals and purposes of the First Steps to School
Readiness initiative, the ongoing progress and results of the First Steps
to School Readiness initiative statewide and locally, fiscal information
on the expenditure of funds, and recommendations and legislative proposals
to further implement the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
(6) provide for on-going data collection and contract
for an in-depth performance audit due January 1, 2003, and every three
years thereafter, to ensure that statewide goals and requirements of the
First Steps to School Readiness initiative are being met; and
(7) coordinate the First Steps to School Readiness initiative
with all other state, federal, and local public and private efforts to
promote good health and school readiness of young children and support
for their families.
SECTION 59-152-60. County First Steps Partnerships; selection
of board members; election and term of chairman; records of meetings;
abstention from voting.
(A) The Office of First Steps to School Readiness, in
collaboration with each county legislative delegation, shall initiate
county forums for the purpose of bringing together stakeholders who are
actively involved or interested in early childhood development and education
so as to initiate a County First Steps Partnership. The times and locations
of these forums and county-wide meetings must be publicized in the local
print and broadcast media.
(B) At a countywide meeting the participants shall begin
to select, to the extent possible within the area covered by the partnership:
(1) Not more than two members from each of these categories
to sit on the First Steps partnership board:
(a) pre-kindergarten through primary educator;
(b) family education, training, and support provider;
(c) childcare and early childhood development/education
(d) healthcare provider;
(e) transportation provider;
(f) nonprofit organization that provides services to
families and children;
(g) faith community; and
(h) business community.
(2) Three parents of pre-school children. After the first
year of the implementation of the First Steps to School Readiness initiative,
parents serving on the County First Steps Partnership Board must have
pre-school children being served by First Steps programs; and
(3) Four members from early childhood education.
(C) After the county partnership board has been formed,
if necessary to assure that all areas of the county are adequately represented
and reflect the diversity of the county, each county legislative delegation
may appoint up to four additional members. Of these members, two are appointed
by the Senate members and two by the House of Representative members of
the delegation from persons with resources, skills, or knowledge that
have specific interests in improving the readiness of young children for
(D) Each of the following shall designate one member
to serve as a member of its County First Steps Partnership Board:
(a) county department of social services;
(b) county department of health and environmental control;
(c) Head Start;
(d) county library; and
(e) each of the school districts in the county.
(E) Members who miss more than three consecutive meetings
without excuse or members who resign must be replaced from the same categories
as their predecessor. The terms of the members of a County First Steps
Partnership Board are for two years; however, membership on the board
may not exceed six consecutive years.
(F) The chairman of a County First Steps Partnership
Board must be elected by majority vote of the board. The chairman shall
serve a one-year term; however, the chairman may be elected to subsequent
terms not to exceed a total of four consecutive years.
(G) County First Steps Partnerships must have policies
and procedures for conducting meetings and disclosing records comparable
to those provided for in the Freedom of Information Act. Prior to every
vote taken by the board, members must abstain from voting if the issue
being considered would result in a conflict of interest. The abstention
must be noted in the minutes of the meeting.
SECTION 59-152-70. First Steps Partnership Board; powers
(A) A First Steps Partnership Board shall, among other
powers and duties:
(1) adopt by-laws as established by the First Steps to
School Readiness Board to effectuate the provisions of this chapter which
must include the creation of a periodic meeting schedule;
(2) coordinate a collaborative effort at the county or
multi-county level which will bring the community together to identify
the area needs related to the goals of First Steps to School Readiness;
develop a strategic long-term plan for meeting those needs; develop specific
initiatives to implement the elements of the plan; and integrating service
delivery where possible;
(3) coordinate and oversee the implementation of the
comprehensive strategic plan including, but not limited to, direct service
provision, contracting for service provision, and organization and management
of volunteer programs;
(4) create and annually revise a county needs assessment;
(5) implement fiscal policies and procedures as required
by the First Steps office and as needed to ensure fiscal accountability
of all funds appropriated to the partnership;
(6) keep accurate records of partnership's meetings,
programs, and activities;
(7) collect information and submit an annual report by
October 1 to the First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees, and
otherwise participate in the annual review and the three-year evaluation
of operations and programs. The first annual report must be submitted
October 1, 2000. Reports must include but not be limited to:
(a) determination of the current level and effectiveness
of services for young children and their families;
(b) strategic goals for increased availability, accessibility,
quality, and efficiency of activities and services for young children
and their families which will enable children to reach school ready to
(c) monitoring of progress toward strategic goals;
(d) report on implementation activities;
(e) recommendations for changes to the strategic plan
which may include new areas of implementation;
(f) evaluation and report of program effectiveness and
client satisfaction before, during, and after the implementation of the
strategic plan, where available; and
(g) estimation of cost savings attributable to increased
efficiency and effectiveness of delivery of services to young children
and their families, where available.
(B) Each County First Steps Partnership may, in the performance
of its duties, employ or acquire administrative, clerical, stenographic,
and other personnel as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of
this section. However, overhead costs of the partnership's operations
may not exceed eight percent of its implementation/management grant allocation
unless prior approval is received from the First Steps to School Readiness
Board of Trustees.
(C) Each County First Steps Partnership may apply for,
receive, and expend federal, state, and local funds, grants, and other
(D) Day care facilities receiving grants must first use
a portion of their funds to achieve licensed status and then to achieve
the equivalent status to that of enhanced ABC provider.
(E) To be designated a County First Steps Partnership,
the county or multi-county partnership must be a private nonprofit corporation
organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. However,
developing partnerships which have not yet received 501(c)(3) status may
qualify for grants if they have received a state charter for incorporation
and meet other criteria as established by the board.
SECTION 59-152-80. First Steps grants.
(A) It is the intent of the General Assembly that the
First Steps to School Readiness initiative be implemented as soon as county
partnerships are ready to utilize the funds efficiently and effectively
to improve services.
(B) Two levels of First Steps grants may be awarded as
(1) Level One for the development of the collaborative
effort, needs assessment, and strategic planning; and
(2) Level Two for implementation/management of activities
The level of grant awarded to a county partnership must
be based on the readiness of the county partnership to implement the First
Steps initiative. The First Steps Board shall establish the criteria for
qualifying for each grant level. The allocations for the grants shall
take into consideration the quality of the grant proposal.
(C) Implementation/management grants must be funded annually
by the First Steps to School Readiness Board and may be awarded for up
to three years. Implementation grants are renewable based upon criteria
established by the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board
of Trustees, including the results of performance audits.
SECTION 59-152-90. Grant applications; criteria for allocations.
(A) To obtain a grant, a County First Steps Partnership
or developing partnership shall submit an application to the Office of
First Steps in a format specified by the First Steps to School Readiness
Board. The application shall include, as appropriate to the level of grant
applied for, the level of funding requested, a description of needs of
children and families; assets and resources available; and the proposed
strategies to address needs as they relate to the goals of South Carolina
First Steps to School Readiness.
(B) To receive a Level One development of the collaborative
effort, needs assessment, and strategic planning grant, the County First
Steps Partnership must meet the criteria established by the First Steps
to School Readiness Board including, but not limited to, total population
covered by the partnership and quality of any pre-exiting needs assessment
and/or strategic plans for that geographic area.
(C) To receive a Level Two implementation/management
grant for First Steps to School Readiness, a County First Steps Partnership
must have completed a needs assessment and review by the First Steps to
School Readiness Board and develop a comprehensive, long-range plan to
provide high quality early childhood development and education services.
The plan must identify the needs of children and their families in the
local area; assets and resources available; explain how supports and services
are to be organized and delivered; establish measurable objectives and
interim goals for meeting the local and state goals for First Steps; and
an evaluation plan.
(D) In developing these plans, the First Steps Partnership
must be given sufficient flexibility, but they must be accountable to
the First Steps to School Readiness Board for fiscal management, program
management, and program results.
(E) The allocations for the grants shall take into consideration
the quality of the grant proposal; the population of children birth to
age five contained in the area served by the partnership; the percentage
of students in grades 1-3 who are eligible for the free and reduced price
lunch program; average per capita income; and the area's ability to support
the strategic plan initiative. The criteria also shall take into account
the standing of the geographical area covered by a county partnership
in relation to the statewide Kids Count indicators. Priority must be given
to strategic plans that incorporate models with demonstrated success.
SECTION 59-152-100. Focus of activities and services.
(A) All activities and services provided by a First Steps
Partnership must be made available to young children and families on a
voluntary basis and must focus on the following:
(1) lifelong learning:
(a) school readiness;
(b) parenting skills;
(c) family literacy; and
(d) adult and continuing education.
(2) health care:
(b) affordable access to quality age-appropriate health
(c) early and periodic screenings;
(d) required immunizations;
(e) initiatives to reduce injuries to infants and toddlers;
(f) technical assistance and consultation for parents
and child care providers on health and safety issues.
(3) quality child care:
(a) staff training and professional development incentives;
(b) quality cognitive learning programs;
(c) voluntary accreditation standards;
(d) accessibility to quality child care and development
(a) coordinated service;
(c) increased utilization efficiency; and
(B) Any part of the initiative within the county strategic
plan using local district resources within a school district must be conducted
only with approval of the district's board of trustees.
SECTION 59-152-110. Use of grant funds.
Implementation/management grants provided to County First
Steps Partnerships must be used to address the needs of young children
and their families as identified in the partnerships' comprehensive plans.
The funds must be used to expand, extend, or improve the quality of provided
services if there is evidence as to existing programs' effectiveness;
offer new or previously unavailable services in the area; or increase
access to services. Grant funds may not supplant current expenditures
by counties or state agencies on behalf of young children and their families,
and may not be used where other state or federal funding sources are available
or could be made available.
SECTION 59-152-120. Use of grant funds for capital expenditures.
Funds received for implementation of a county partnership's
implementation/management grant may not be used for capital expenses for
new construction. However, funds may be made available for renovating,
refurbishing, or upgrading of existing facilities used to support First
Steps to School Readiness activities and services for children, families,
and providers from funds made available to the partnerships in Section
59-152-150(C) and Section 20-7-9740(A). The county partnership must demonstrate
to the satisfaction of the First Steps to School Readiness Board that
the capital expenditure is:
(1) a priority need for the local initiative and other
state or federal funds for such projects are insufficient; and
(2) necessary to provide services to under-served children
SECTION 59-152-130. Partnership matches; annual report.
(A) The County First Steps Partnerships shall provide
an annual match of fifteen percent. The South Carolina First Steps to
School Readiness Board of Trustees may decrease this percentage requirement
for a partnership based on their capacity to provide that match. Private
individuals and groups must be encouraged to contribute to a partnership's
efforts to meet its match. The match required of individual partnerships
by the First Steps Board should take into consideration such factors as:
(1) local wealth, using such indicators as the number
and percentage of children eligible for free and reduced lunches in grades
(2) in-kind donated resources.
Only in-kind donations, as defined by the standard fiscal
accountability system provided for in Section 59-152-140, which meet the
criteria established by the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
Board of Trustees and that are quantifiable may be applied to the in-kind
match requirement. Expenses, including those paid both by cash and through
in-kind contributions, incurred by other nonstate entities participating
in county partnerships may be included in determining matching funds.
(B) The Office of the South Carolina First Steps to School
Readiness shall establish guidelines and reporting formats for county
partnerships to document expenses to ensure they meet matching fund requirements.
The office shall compile a report annually on the private cash and in-kind
contributions received by the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
Board of Trustees and County First Steps Partnerships.
SECTION 59-152-140. Carrying funds forward into subsequent
To ensure effective use of funds, awards under contract
for County First Steps Partnerships, with the approval of the Office of
First Steps to School Readiness, may be carried forward and used in the
following fiscal year. Funds appropriated to South Carolina First Steps
to School Readiness may also be carried forward into subsequent years.
SECTION 59-152-150. Development and adoption of standard
fiscal accountability system; private funds to be held separate; disbursements;
(A) The Office of First Steps to School Readiness shall
develop and require partnerships to adopt and implement a standard fiscal
accountability system including, but not limited to, a uniform, standardized
system of accounting, internal controls, payroll, fidelity bonding, chart
of accounts, and contract management and monitoring. Additionally, the
accountability system shall require competitive bids for the purchase
or procurement of goods and services of ten thousand dollars or more.
A bid other than the lowest bid may be accepted by a majority vote of
the county partnership board if other considerations outweigh the cost
factor; however, written justification must be filed with the Office of
First Steps. The Office of First Steps may contract with outside firms
to develop and ensure implementation of this standard fiscal accountability
system, and the Office of First Steps may inspect fiscal and program records
of county partnerships and developing partnerships to ensure their compliance
with the required system. The Office of First Steps may contract with
a state entity with existing means for developing contracts and disbursing
funds in order to make use of the existing infrastructure, if it is efficient
and not administratively burdensome to partnerships.
(B) Each County First Steps Partnership shall expend
funds through the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board
of Trustees or its fiscal designees until the capacity of the County First
Steps Partnership to manage its fiscal and administrative responsibilities
in compliance with the standard accountability system has been reviewed
and certified by the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board
of Trustees or its designee.
(C) Private funds received by a County First Steps Partnership
must be deposited in a separate fund.
(D) Disbursements may be made only on the written authorization
of the individual designated by the county partnership board and only
for the purposes specified. A person violating this section is guilty
of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined five thousand dollars
or imprisoned for six months, or both.
(E) The offenses of misuse, misappropriation, and embezzlement
of public funds, apply to this chapter.
SECTION 59-152-160. Evaluation of progress.
(A) The South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
Board of Trustees shall establish internal evaluation policies and procedures
for County First Steps Partnerships for an annual review of the functioning
of the partnership, implementation of strategies, and progress toward
the interim goals and benchmarks. In instances where no progress has been
made, the Office of First Steps to School Readiness shall provide targeted
assistance and/or the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board
of Trustees may terminate the grant. In addition, a program evaluation
of the First Steps to School Readiness initiatives at the state and local
levels must be conducted every three years by an independent, external
evaluator under contract with the South Carolina First Steps to School
Readiness Board of Trustees. However, the selected evaluator shall be
approved, and the evaluation overseen, by a committee consisting of three
members, one appointed by the First Steps Board, one appointed by the
President Pro Tempore of the Senate and one appointed by the Speaker of
the House. These committee members must be professionally recognized as
proficient in child development, early childhood education, or a closely
related field. The first report shall be provided no later than January
(B) County First Steps Partnerships must agree to participate
in such an evaluation in order to receive a First Steps grant. Subsequent
grant approval and grant allocations must be dependent, in part, on the
results of the evaluations. If an evaluation finds no progress has been
made in meeting local goals or implementing strategies as agreed to in
the First Steps grant, the grant must be terminated.
(C) The purpose of the evaluation is to assess progress
toward achieving the First Steps goals and to determine the impact of
the initiative on children and families at the state and local levels.
The impact assessment shall include, but is not limited to, school readiness
measures; benefits from child development services; immunization status;
low birth-weight rates; parent literacy; parenting skills; parental involvement;
transportation; and developmental screening results. During the course
of the evaluation, if an evaluator determines that any state agency has
failed to comply with the coordination and collaboration provisions as
required in this chapter, the final report must reflect that information.
Program evaluation reports must be reported to the General Assembly no
later than three months after conclusion of the evaluation. All County
First Steps Partnerships shall cooperate fully in collecting and providing
data and information for the evaluation.
First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees; powers;
SECTION 3. Chapter 7, Title 20 of the 1976 Code is amended
Section 20-7-9700. There is established the South Carolina
First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees, an eleemosynary corporation,
which shall oversee the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
initiative, a broad range of innovative early childhood development and
education, family support, health services, and prevention efforts to
meet critical needs of South Carolina's children through the awarding
of grants to partnerships at the county level as provided for in Section
The board may accept gifts, bequests, and grants from
any person or foundation. The fund and grants from the fund shall supplement
and augment, but not take the place of, services provided by local, state,
or federal agencies. The board of trustees shall carry out activities
necessary to administer the fund including assessing service needs and
gaps, soliciting proposals to address identified service needs, and establishing
criteria for the awarding of grants.
Section 20-7-9710. There is created the South Carolina
First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees which must be chaired
by the Governor and must include the State Superintendent of Education
who shall serve as ex officio voting members of the board. The board is
composed of the twenty appointed, voting members as follows:
(A) The Governor shall appoint two members from each
of the following sectors:
(a) parents of young children;
(b) business community;
(c) early childhood educators;
(d) medical or child care and development providers;
(e) the General Assembly, one member from the Senate
and one member from the House of Representatives.
(B) The President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall appoint
one member from each of the following sectors:
(a) parents of young children;
(b) business community;
(c) early childhood educators; and
(d) medical or child care and development providers.
(C) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall
appoint one member from each of the following sectors:
(a) parents of young children;
(b) business community;
(c) early childhood educators; and
(d) medical or child care and development.
(D) The Chairman of the Senate Education Committee or
(E) The Chairman of the House Education and Public Works
Committee or his designee.
(F) The chief executive officer of each of the following
shall serve as an ex officio nonvoting member:
(a) Department of Social Services or his designee;
(b) Department of Health and Environmental Control or
(c) Department of Health and Human Services or his designee;
(d) Department of Mental Health or his designee;
(e) Department of Disabilities and Special Needs or his
(f) Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services
or his designee;
(g) Department of Transportation or his designee; and
(h) Budget and Control Board, Division of Research and
Statistics or his designee.
(G) The following organizations shall designate one member
to serve as an ex officio nonvoting member:
(a) South Carolina State Library;
(b) Transportation Association of South Carolina; and
(c) State Advisory Committee on the Regulation of Child
Day Care Facilities.
The terms of the members are for four years and until
their successors are appointed and qualify, except of those first appointed.
When making the initial appointments, the Governor, the President Pro
Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
shall designate half of their appointments to serve two-year terms only.
The appointments of the members from the General Assembly shall be coterminous
with their terms of office.
Vacancies for any reason must be filled in the manner
of the original appointment for the unexpired term. No member shall serve
more than two terms or eight years, whichever is longer. Members who miss
more than three consecutive meetings without excuse or members who resign
must be replaced in the same manner as their predecessor. Members may
be paid per diem, mileage, and subsistence as established by the board
not to exceed standards provided by law for boards, committees, and commissions.
A complete report of the activities of the First Steps to School Readiness
Board of Trustees must be made annually to the General Assembly and the
Section 20-7-9720. To carry out its assigned functions,
the board is authorized, but not limited to:
(1) develop a comprehensive long-range initiative for
improving early childhood development and increasing school readiness;
(2) promulgate regulations, establish guidelines, policies
and procedures for implementation of the South Carolina First Steps to
School Readiness initiative;
(3) provide oversight on the implementation of the South
Carolina First Steps to School Readiness initiative at the state and county
(4) facilitate and direct the establishment of developing
County First Steps Partnerships and establish the criteria for designation
of County First Steps Partnerships;
(5) establish criteria and procedures for awarding state
First Steps grants to County First Steps Partnerships;
(6) provide technical assistance, consultation services,
and support to County First Steps Partnerships including: the creation
and annual revision of county needs assessments; the prioritization, implementation,
and evaluation of each First Steps Partnership's strategic plans based
on needs assessments; and the identification of assets from other funding
(7) assess and develop recommendations: for ensuring
coordination and collaboration among service providers at both the state
and county level, for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of state
programs and funding and other programs and funding sources, as allowable,
as necessary to carry out the First Steps to School Readiness initiative,
including additional fiscal strategies, redeployment of state resources,
and development of new programs;
(8) establish results oriented measures and objectives
and assess whether services provided by County First Steps Partnerships
to children and families are meeting the goals and achieving the results
established for the First Steps initiative pursuant to Chapter 152, Title
(9) receive gifts, bequests, and devises for deposit
for awarding grants to First Steps Partnerships; and
(10) report annually to the General Assembly by January
first on activities and progress to include recommendations for changes
and legislative initiatives and results of program evaluations.
Section 20-7-9730. The South Carolina First Steps to
School Readiness Board of Trustees shall employ, by a majority vote, a
director of the Office of South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
and other staff as necessary to carry out the South Carolina First Steps
to School Readiness initiative, established in Title 59, Chapter 152,
and other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the board. The director,
with the approval of the board, shall hire such staff as is considered
necessary to carry out the provisions of the initiative.
Section 20-7-9740. (A) A separate fund must be established
to accept nongovernmental grants, gifts, and donations from any public
or private source for the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness
initiative. Each donor may designate up to one-half of their contribution
to specific counties or a county. Both the designated and undesignated
funds may be used to meet the local match required in Section 59-152-130.
All funds may be carried forward from fiscal year to fiscal year. The
State Treasurer shall invest the monies in this fund in the same manner
as other funds under his control are invested and all interest derived
from the investment of these funds shall remain in the fund. The South
Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees shall administer
and authorize any disbursements from the fund. Private individuals and
groups must be encouraged to contribute to this endeavor.
(B) In addition, a separate fund within the state general
fund must be established for monies that may be appropriated by the General
Assembly for the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness initiative.
These funds may be carried forward from fiscal year to fiscal year. The
State Treasurer shall invest the monies in this fund in the same manner
as other funds under his control are invested. The South Carolina First
Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees shall administer and authorize
any disbursements from the fund.
(C) All interest derived from the investment of the funds
in subsections (A) and (B) shall remain a part of each respective fund."
Contributions through income tax returns
SECTION 4. Section 12-6-5060(A) of the 1976 Code, as
added by Act 76 of 1995, is amended to read:
"(A) Each taxpayer required to file a state individual
income tax return may contribute to the Nongame Wildlife and Natural Areas
Program Fund, the Children's Trust Fund of South Carolina as created by
Section 20-7-5010, or the Eldercare Trust Fund of South Carolina as created
by Section 43-21-160, or the First Steps to School Readiness Fund as created
by Section 20-7-9740 by designating the contribution on the return. The
contribution may be made by reducing the income tax refund or by remitting
additional payment by the amount designated."
Department of Social Services to support First Steps
to School Readiness initiative
SECTION 5. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 43-1-240. The State Department of Social
Services in establishing priorities and funding for programs and services
which impact on children and families during the first years of a child's
life, within the powers and duties granted to it, must support, as appropriate,
the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness initiative, as established
in Title 59, Chapter 152, at the state and local levels."
Board and Department of Health and Environmental Control
to support First Steps to School Readiness initiative
SECTION 6. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 44-1-280. The Board and Department of Health
and Environmental Control in establishing priorities and funding for programs
and services which impact on children and families during the first years
of a child's life, within the powers and duties granted to it, must support,
as appropriate, the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness initiative,
as established in Title 59, Chapter 152, at the state and local levels."
Other state agencies to support First Steps to School
SECTION 7. It is the intent of the General Assembly that
state agencies involved in early child care and development and education
and in health and support services to families with young children shall
actively support the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness initiative.
In addition to those agencies answering directly to the Governor, those
agencies headed by boards and commissions or constitutional officers shall
use their resources to support, as appropriate, the goals of the First
Steps initiative reflected in Section 59-152-20 and the long-term plans
of the First Steps Partnerships and to assure that relevant planning documents
or processes are consistent with, and supportive of early childhood development
and education, family support, and health.
Time effective; prospective
SECTION 8. This act
takes effect upon approval by the Governor. The provisions of this act
are repealed July 1, 2007, unless reauthorized by the General Assembly.
Ratified the 24th
day of June, 1999.
Approved the 28th
day of June, 1999.
State House Network-LPITS@http://www.scstatehouse.net
State House Network-LPITS@http://www.scstatehouse.net