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Court again nixes SC gov’s private school pandemic aid plan

Meg Kinnard, AP News |

South Carolina’s highest court again rejected Gov. Henry McMaster’s plan to use $32 million in federal coronavirus relief to provide tuition grants for private schools, ruling Wednesday that spending public money this way is unconstitutional.

The unanimous decision by the state Supreme Court says the governor’s decision to use money from the coronavirus rescue package in this way “constitutes the use of public funds for the direct benefit of private educational institutions within the meaning of, and prohibited by” the South Carolina Constitution.

McMaster unveiled his plan for Safe Access to Flexible Education in July, effectively creating a one-time voucher program for parents who couldn’t otherwise afford the expense of private school. The plan was immediately challenged in court.

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