CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County School Board (CCSD) incumbent Christopher Collins is speaking out against attack ads from the Charleston Coalition for Kids.
The ads accuse Collins of collecting a “lavish” salary and taking money that should go to students and staff.
Collins says the accusations are false, and that the coalition is fueling rumors of “dark money.” He says the ads are just a ploy to help candidates associated with the coalition win their elections.
“Josh Bell and the Charleston Coalition for Kids have planned an attack scheme to take over the Charleston County School Board,” says Collins.
Collins says the agenda of the coalition is clear: to privatize some CCSD schools while closing others. He fears this will open the door for the coalition to collect money from the district’s large operating budget.
“We believe this is what his goal is; to make millions on the backs of Charleston County tax payers at the sake of these children,” says Collins.
The coalition’s Executive Director, Josh Bell fired back, saying the goal is to elect leaders focused on a stronger future for the school district.
“This is about public schools, we want all families to have a great public school,” says Bell. “There is no other agenda.”
Bell says Collins has voted to raise his salary and voted against new opportunities and expanded education for students. Collins says the claims are false.
“So, we’re being accused of a lot of things,” says Collins. “Living a lavish lifestyle but there is no school board member in the state of South Carolina that makes a decent salary, none. You don’t do it for the salary, you do it for the community.”
Exchanging jabs, Collins believes the coalition has failed to help the district and students. For Bell, he says the finger should be pointed at the school board.
“We believe that the school board has for too long, not put outcomes for students at the top of every agenda where it belongs,” says Bell.
With a little more than a week left until the election, Collins says he is considering taking legal action against the coalition if the ads don’t stop.