CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Coastal Community Foundation (CCF), the leaders behind the ‘Reimagine Schools’ proposal are outlining the next steps in the plans. President and CEO Darrin Goss Sr. says changes are being looked at for the best interest of the Charleston County School District (CCSD).

“Teachers need to be involved, administrators need to be involved, school improvement counselors need to be involved. When you read the proposal all of those people are involved,” Goss said.

The $31 million proposal puts CCF, a private group, in charge of improving underperforming schools in Charleston County. Goss said the main focus of the proposal is making sure every student has a quality education.

“This is all about those particular schools and making investments in those schools that actually have a chance at turning them around for the foreseeable future,” Goss explained.

Not everyone is happy with the proposal, leading to heated protests and debates between parents, teachers, and activists. Those opposed to the proposal say the foundation has a lack of educational experience and they’re using “dark money” to fund the project.

Goss said he was not expecting the controversy because what people are pushing back against, is what he is fighting for in this proposal.

“98% of what these dollars would go to is literally set aside for those particular schools,” he says.

CCF says looking back on the proposal process, they wished that community engagement was done first.

“You can’t rush the community engagement process. You have to fight and ensure the parents and students who are affected by implementation changes, have a seat at the table,” Goss says.

As CCSD works to get more public opinion on the program, Goss says the foundation is open to input in any way to help this proposal move forward for the best outcome.

“Focusing on what’s the best interest for these students in these particular schools, that’s what I think is the most important in this process at this point,” he said.

Goss says with federal ESSER dollars being spent on this proposal, he hopes the board votes on the plans soon as the money needs to be used by September 2024.