Charter bill could mean a lot for a Lowcountry school district

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A few years ago lawmakers started the statewide public charter school district.

The charter district gets state funding, just like local districts do. But unlike local districts, they do not get any money from local taxes.

Principal Robb Streeter says providing middle school students with a high quality education can be a challenge, given that state money is their main income.

"Local school districts get to raise money locally and supplement state funds. We don't have the opportunity to do that,"Principal Streeter said.

Palmetto Scholars Academy is in the first year of its charter from the Charter School District. All 11 schools within the district are waiting to find out if they'll be able to increase their per student expenditures.

"It could mean a computer a student. It could mean a teaching assistant per student per class, accelerated salaries for teachers,"Streeter said.

A proposed house bill allows the General Assembly to send more state money directly to the charter schools. But that amount is yet to be determined. Charleston County school board member Rev. Chris Collins worries it could mean less state money for local districts.

"All the education money comes out of one pot. So whether they take it out on the state level or local level, the kids in public schools will be the ones to suffer because it's the same money," Rev. Collins said.

The bill to send state money to the charter school district must still go through a third and final reading by house members. Then it will move on to the senate. Charter schools do a lot of their own fundraising to supplement state funding.

Palmetto Scholars Academy has an online campaign auction going on, to find out more visit

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