Zais makes offer to stem lawsuit

South Carolina Education Superintendent Mick Zais / FILE

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina Education Superintendent Mick Zais says an updated opinion from the attorney general's office could resolve a dispute with the state Board of Education regarding its authority over the elected schools chief.

Zais says the education agency's attorney has offered to stem a threatened lawsuit from the board by seeking an opinion from Attorney General Alan Wilson. The last opinion was written in 1966.

Board attorney Michael Montgomery says that suggestion is not a formal offer of resolution. Montgomery says the two sides need to agree on how they'll cooperate.

On Dec. 8, the board directed Montgomery to sue if a resolution isn't reached by Dec. 23. Representatives of both sides say hectic holiday schedules have made Friday's deadline impossible to meet. A meeting is planned for early January.

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