Community members discuss CCSD legislation for single-member districts

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Community leaders and parents gathered to discuss their concerns about Charleston County School District. Many believe that passing proposed legislation regarding single member districts could be a solution.

A single-member district for CCSD would give communities the power to elect one of their own to impact the decision-making process. This would also give the community someone to hold accountable.

“I just need a school board member that I can call, and say if you don’t listen to me, you’re not getting re-elected,” says parent Francis Beylotte. “Right now, they can say ‘I don’t care,’ because I can get re-elected in somewhere else in the county.”

Those in favor of the single-member districts also feel that they can get to know their representatives on a more personal level. CCSD Board Member Kevin Hollinshead says that this is the only way for the community’s voices to be heard.

“When you know your board member, you can either go to their house or meet them at a grocery store, or talk about issues that concern your community,” he says.

Tonight’s speakers also explained the history of racially-charged issues that they’ve had with the school district; specifically with money.

“It’s been unfair for blacks for so many years because the amount of money that were put into school system was going to white schools instead of black. With single-member districts, you can kind of monitor where the money goes,” says Elder James Johnson.

The legislation for single-member districts has passed 3 times in the House and is now sitting in the Senate. Some parents believe that a decision needs to be made soon.

“It’s time to stop and make a move. I know that’s scary for some people. But, kids can’t wait,” says Beylotte.

Those that attended tonight say that there is much more to be done within the school district, but feel that having these tough conversations is the only way to start.

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