CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A controversial multi-million dollar proposal remains to divide parents and administrators in the Charleston County School District (CCSD). The ‘Reimagine Schools’ proposal is a plan that if passed, could lead to some schools leaving the district.
The proposal is is to help underperforming schools, but it’s led to protests outside of CCSD headquarters. Some concerned parents, teachers, and activists say they are fighting against the plan.
“Let’s get back to work and get to doing what the ‘Reimagine Schools’ proposal claims to do, doing it from the ground up not the top down,” says one concerned parent.
Some opposed to the proposal say they want better plans that prioritizes school and student needs.
“It seeks to create an unnecessary framework that would add in appointed layer of bureaucracy and separate governance structure between 23 school communities and the school district,” says another concerned parent.
The 31 million dollar ‘Reimagine Schools’ proposal was voted off the agenda earlier this month after board members decided more public comment was needed. Since then, the third party involved in the proposal, the Coastal Community Foundation has stepped back saying they want to have more community engagement.
CCSD Interim Superintendent Don Kennedy says a planning team started working together to lay out engagement strategies to help improve that problem.
“We will start actually engaging with the stakeholders this week, principals, and a group of teachers. Then we will roll that out into the community within the next two to three weeks,” says Kennedy.
Kennedy says its important the community, parents, and teachers have been vocal about the proposal so it can help improve a successful outcome.
“It’s a good thing we have so much energy in the community around the education of our children. We are going to use that as an opportunity to expand that,” Kennedy says.
State Representative Marvin Pendarvis says there could be consequences if the plan passes. Pendarvis says him and North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey met to discuss a potential exit strategy for North Charleston schools, from CCSD.
“The mayor and I have invested and deep interest in seeing the city thrive. In order for the city to thrive, the students have to be in a position to be successful,” says Rep. Pendarvis.
News 2 asked Interim Superintendent Kennedy for a comment regarding Rep. Pendarvis’ meeting with Mayor Summey, but he declined.