NAACP calls for stop to Lowcountry Tech Academy expansion

NAACP calls for stop to Lowcountry Tech Academy expansion

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The fight will have to wait another day.

Monday, members of the Lowcountry Chapter of the NAACP stood outside the Charleston County School District Administrative office, opposed to talks of expanding the Lowcountry Tech Academy on King Street.

A line item to address expanding the program was pulled from the school board meeting agenda.

School board officials have responded to requests to find out why.

The Academy is not a school, but a technology program.  It's located on the site of the former Rivers Middle School on King Street, and shares a space with the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science.

Students attend the Academy for one block each day, taking the rest of their courses at their home school.

"When you look at companies like Boeing, the turbine industry, BMW, every time these companies come to South Carolina, there's always a problem, they can't find the skills," said State Representative Wendell Gilliard.

The Lowcountry Tech Academy is designed to address those issues.  Among the programs offered are computer networking, cyber security, and computer service technology.

The NAACP concern rose over the idea that expanding the scope of the Academy would be dispersed among so many schools, the Rivers Campus would ultimately be eliminated.

The Chapter says recent expansion talks go against a 2007 compromise with school board officials, to maintain diversity on the Rivers Campus, a site that holds historical significance in the African-American community.

"It's a successful program, and we don't need to touch it," Gilliard said.

"If something is working, why even give it a thought to touch it."

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