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Berkeley Co. School Board to take legal action against new law

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2022 at 11:07 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A bill signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster last month regarding the Berkeley County School District Board of Education is prompting the board to take legal action, according to a board member.

District 9 board member Kirstin Tanner said the bill, S910, infringes on the constitutional rights of voters.

The law changes the configuration of the Berkeley County School Board and cuts some of their terms short. Under the law, the school board will change from nine seats to eight seats, with an added at large seat. This would unify the school board seats with the Berkeley County Council geographic seats.

Board members who sit in the odd-numbered seats will now be up for election this year, cutting their terms two years short. The even number seats were already up for election in 2022.

“How can you expect a board, a board of elected officials, to do the hard work that you’ve asked them to do, that you’ve elected them to do if we’re worrying about these elections every two years?” Tanner said.

Tanner said she believes that this is infringing upon the constitutional rights of constituents.

“It cancels the constituents’ votes from 2020, and that’s a waste of taxpayer dollars,” Tanner said.

Voters were not given enough notice about the changes, according to Tanner.

“If other powers truly cared about the constituents within Berkeley County, they would have passed this law in a manner that gave notice, just like the law that was passed in Charleston County two years ago,” she said.

Tanner said the only way that they can challenge the law is by taking it to the judicial system. She says the next step is to find an attorney to take this case on and to look into the constitutionality of the law for constituents.

“I don’t want my voice cut off, so I surely wouldn’t want it cut off for the people that elected me to sit in this seat and advocate on their behalf,” Tanner said.

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