EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Courtney Waters’s job title. That has been corrected. We apologize for the error.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A special town hall meeting was held at the North Charleston City Hall where city and state leaders focused on a number of topics including the possibility of North Charleston schools leaving the Charleston County School District (CCSD).
“We just wanted to do this town hall meeting,” said North Charleston Councilman Jerome Heyward. “Not to engage in tearing each other down; just wanted to come together and have a conversation.”
A big part of that conversation focused on recent talks of North Charleston schools possibly leaving CCSD.
“We do have a major problem with Charleston County School District,” one person at Monday’s town hall said. “A major problem. And it didn’t just begin. It’s been going on for years. Our children are way behind schedule.”
The meeting comes after North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said the city is considering leaving CCSD because he does not feel schools in the city have been getting the attention they deserve from the district, and many leaders agree.
“There’s been no investment in schools in North Charleston,” community activist Pastor Thomas Dixon said. “Our tax money has gone into CCSD, and we got no return on our investment.
“Since I’ve been a little boy,” Heyward said. “They’ve been talking about this. Nothing has changed.”
But some leaders point out that North Charleston leaving the district could be costly.
“Students will suffer in a transition of this magnitude,” CCSD Board of Trustees member Courtney Waters said. “Even if you plan it the best that you can.”
City officials say they’re confident Monday’s conversation will greatly benefit North Charleston schools moving forward.
“This is a great start here because I think we got the heads together tonight,” Heyward said. “So, if we got the heads together, the body shall follow.”
Teacher pay, school conditions, and the curriculum were also discussed during Monday’s special town hall meeting.