By Live 5 Web Staff | October 7, 2020 at 5:10 PM EDT - Updated October 7 at 5:34 PM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Supreme Court has struck down Gov. Henry McMaster’s SAFE grants program which would move money the state received from the CARES Act to assist tuition costs at private schools.
The program would allocate $32 million in funds to private school tuition in the form of grants paid to families to help offset tuition for private and parochial schools.
In Wednesday’s unanimous ruling, the court stated that McMaster’s allocation of millions of dollars to support the SAFE grants program constitutes the use of public funds for the direct benefit of private education institutions which is prohibited by the South Carolina Constitution.
McMaster announced the Safe Access to Flexible Education Grants program this past July and said it would provide scholarships or one-time grants to help families subsidize tuition for the state’s participating private, parochial or independent schools in the state.
Approximately 5,000 grants would be funded through the plan, according to state officials. The grants, of up to $6,500, will be needs-based, McMaster said this past summer.
To have been 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.
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