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CSD2 board questioned for superintendent housing

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Editor’s Note: This article references and quotes from a recent Post and Courier article written by Stephen Hobbs and Thad Moore titled “SC superintendent lived rent-free in townhouse meant for teacher recruitment".

In a recent article by the Post and Courier, questions were brought up about the current superintendent of Clarendon School District 2, Dr. Shawn Johnson. According to the article, Johnson had stayed in a district-owned townhouse for several months without paying rent. This was due to several apparent oversights from the district board, as well as the housing grant that allowed the purchase.

“It’s an example of how school districts in South Carolina are afforded wide latitude in their actions and often go unscrutinized, even as they are entrusted with vast sums of public money,” reads the article, written by Stephen Hobbs and Thad Moore.

However, according to an anonymous source to the Times, the house was purchased exclusively through grants, and no public funding was used. Looking further at the grant, it’s intentions never specify who should be housed there. Johnson also claimed that the board never told him when or if to pay.

“It’s not like I didn’t give them what they told me to give them when they told me to do it,” said Johnson to the Post and Courier. “That’s where I have the problem: That I’m wearing this cross because of their timing.”

However, there are further problems with the district’s decision to purchase the house. Combing through their minutes from previous meetings, there is no documentation of action taken to purchase the house. This means that no official vote was held, something you would expect with a purchase of this magnitude.

Shortly after the home was purchased in March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. This is another reason why Johnson wasn’t removed from the house, according to board members. 

There were also issues brought up in the article concerning a $1,200 monthly housing stipend given to Johnson and backdated to March, which more than allowed him to pay any rent that he owed the district.

We reached out to Johnson as well as the current District 2 board, who have not returned our call, or have declined to comment.

The story is developing, and we will add more to it when and if we receive it.

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