A Pee Dee school district, whose handling of federal funds is under investigation, is questioning the constitutionality of a 6-week-old state law.
The Williamsburg School District Board of Trustees filed a lawsuit requesting that a judge block a law that called for the addition of two countywide trustees to the school board.
The suit was filed May 18 against the Williamsburg County legislative delegation, which includes Sen. Robbie Sabb, D-Williamsburg, and Reps. Carl Anderson, D-Georgetown, and Cezar McKnight, D-Williamsburg.
The suit accuses the law that Sabb wrote of violating the separation of powers clause because it calls for the new trustees to be picked initially by the delegation until the next scheduled school district election. Another allegation raised against the delegation is that state law bars lawmakers from passing county-specific legislation.
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The complaints calls for an injunction against the law that went into effect in May 3, after the Legislature overrode Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto.
In his veto message, McMaster raised similar concerns to those in the complaint.
“Aside from constitutional concerns attendant to such special legislation, S. 568 improperly attempts to vest the Williamsburg County Legislative Delegation with the authority to implement and execute this local law,” McMaster said, according to the House of Representatives journal.
A message left with the district’s lawyer was not returned Monday. McKnight said he could not comment, because he is named in the complaint. Anderson declined to comment, because he had not read it yet. And Sabb did not return a request for comment.
Ryan Brown, spokesman for the S.C. Department of Education, however, confirmed that the district is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General because of $147,000 in federal Title I funds, which are provided to schools with high percentages of children from low-income families.