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THE SCEA Applauds Judge Dickson; Decries McMaster’s “Apparent Loss of Conscience”

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Sherry East, President of The South Carolina Education Association, today applauded the restraining order issued by Orangeburg County Circuit Court Judge Edgar Dickson to temporarily block disbursement of $32m in federal CARES Act money to Palmetto State private schools, hailing him as “a man who obviously understands a foundational concept – that public money supports public schools.” She added, “This is a needed shot-in-the-arm to our educators and staff who have been roiled and demoralized by the governor’s words and actions over the last week.”

East said that many private schools in the state, including the most elite among them – Ashley Hall, Porter Gaud, Bishop England, Hammond Academy, and Heathwood Hall – have already received tens of millions of dollars in PPP loans that may not require repayment. The governor, she said, “wants to bestow another $32m golden egg on these and other schools that have better facilities than many small colleges.”

East continued, “Has Governor McMaster already forgotten his plaint of last week decrying the conditions in which so many of our public school children live? That was his ostensible justification for re-opening schools in the midst of a deadly pandemic. We have 735,000 children in South Carolina who attend public schools. Tens of thousands of them live in landscapes of crumbling schools and infrastructure, in food and broadband deserts. The governor talks as though he’s bringing bread to our children, but instead he’s heaved a bucket of stones. Somewhere along the way, he appears to have lost his conscience.”

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