Court temporarily blocks McMaster’s $32M private school voucher plan
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - An Orangeburg County circuit court judge signed a temporary restraining order Wednesday to prevent the distribution of SAFE Grants designed to help subsidize private and parochial school tuition for lower-income students.
Gov. Henry McMaster announced the Safe Access to Flexible Education Grants at a news conference Monday, saying he was allocating $32 million in funding for the program. The money comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. South Carolina’s share of GEER Funds totaled $48 million.
Under the plan, grants of up to $6,500 would be needs-based and to be eligible for SAFE Grants, a student must be from a household with an adjusted gross income of 300% or less of the federal poverty level, McMaster said.
The court order from Orangeburg County Circuit Court Judge Edgar Dickson states a hearing will be held at 2 p.m. on June 29 at the Orangeburg County Courthouse.
The plaintiff, who has worked for more than 15 years in public education, petitioned the court claiming the grant program violates a portion of the South Carolina Constitution preventing the state from funding private or religious education.
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