MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – As South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette and Gov. Henry McMaster continue their push to allow state funding to go to private schools, Evette toured Myrtle Beach Christian Academy on Friday.

During the pandemic, the school’s leaders said they enrolled 200 additional students as more parents sought alternative learning environments for their children.

The school’s administration thanked Evette and McMasters for their work in keeping schools open during the pandemic.

The academy’s student population has grown so drastically that the school had to install portable classrooms. That project was funded through the CARES Act and marks the first time funds were sent to private schools in the state.

“The growth was amazing,” Kat Elkes, the school’s director of admissions and development said. “It was exciting. It was wonderful. It was a little scary because we had to make a lot of changes, but it was amazing at the same time just given the opportunity to let so many more people know about Christian Academy and to be able to attend here.”

Evette praised the academy’s emphasis on STEM programs as well.

“The governor and I were with an engineering association last night and we were talking to them and we were saying what are we doing to make sure that we are opening up STEM and creating future engineers in South Carolina,” Evette said. “It is great schools like this that do it. It’s important that girls know that STEM is for them.”

Legislation in the South Carolina General Assembly would allow state taxpayer money to be sent to private, independent institutions. You can read more about that legislation and why some public school educators are against it, by clicking here.