CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A local activist group is calling attention to concerns they have with the Charleston County School District.

The Racial Justice Network held a press conference Thursday morning to address so-called racial disparities in CCSD’s education system.

The group is calling for transparency when it comes to the distribution of ESSER funds. They also want to see the money go toward underperforming schools.

RJN also questioned why CCSD has continued its contract with Meeting Street Schools since students are not hitting the mark.

Leaders with the group requested the school board investigate the district’s human resources department, claiming there have been inequities in recent terminations and hires.

“We come today speaking out for students of color who do not have equal access to a challenging and substantial education,” said Beverly Gadson-Birch, Education Coordinator for the Racial Justice Network. “We come today with the determination to eradicate stigmas associated with children of color that they can’t learn.”

News 2 reached out to the school district for comment. They provided the following statement:

“The suggestion made by the Racial Justice Network that Charleston County School District does not care about its students could not be further from the truth. We are committed to providing a high-quality education to all students, regardless of their background, with a specific focus on recovery from learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of our teachers, administrators, and program providers work tirelessly and often without thanks and appreciation in service of that mission.

We believe it is important to note that one of the recently Board-approved goals is focused on improving literacy proficiency for Black and Hispanic children. 

However, district staff welcomes input from all our community members. We hope to move forward together to create lasting opportunities and relationships that benefit all our students, staff, and families,” said Andrew Pruitt, a spokesman for the Charleston County School District.