Group Files Lawsuit Against Morgan County School Board

- MORGAN COUNTY, W.Va. - The Morgan County school levy controversy is taking a new turn, as members of the group against the levy are now filing a lawsuit against the school board. They say since the measure was voted down last year. School officials are taking improper steps to reintroduce it for vote.

Since the school levy was voted down in Morgan County, Superintendent David Banks conducted a survey as to why it happened. He says most citizens didn't want their tax dollars go to programs outside the schools. So the superintendent modified the levy, which is set to be voted on. However, some members of citizens against the levy say the board is violating the proper procedure of reintroducing the new levy and now they're filing a civil complaint.

"There are plenty of federal grants and plenty of state grants that they could get but instead they wish to burden the West Virginian tax payers with $5.8 million a year, I think it is unfair," said Jeannie Ford, who's filing a lawsuit against the Morgan County School Board.

Ford says according to law the school needs 40 percent of Morgan County registered voters to sign a petition for a new levy. She says if the board collects enough signatures, then it could only be voted during a special or general election.

"This is really tough on our senior citizens, the extra burden, they have enough trouble making ends meet, also single parents and young parents trying to raise their family, they don't need this unnecessary burden," said Brooks McCumbee, who's also filing a lawsuit against the Morgan County School Board.  

However, Superintendent David Banks says the board took correct steps in conducting the levy reintroduction. He says in the end, the registered Morgan County voters will have the option of voting on the levy this May.

"We consulted with different legal attorneys, we want to make sure we were, we understand that there is some code that says otherwise, but we believe it is obsolete in this case," said Superintendent Banks.

The civil trial will take place at the Morgan County Courthouse. The court date has not yet been set. 

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