Speakers ask for Superintendent reinstated, more money for teachers at CCSD meeting

Speakers ask for Superintendent reinstated, more money for teachers at CCSD meeting

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - At Monday night's Charleston County School Board meeting, 37 people signed up to speak during the public comment portion focusing on the controversial issues of more money for teacher, reinstating the district's former superintendent and adding more diversity to schools.

More than a dozen people came to CCSD's meeting to ask for Dr. Nancy McGinley to be reinstated as the district's superintendent.

"Nancy McGinley is the best superintendent we have ever had in Charleston County, and I would like the board to reconsider accepting her resignation," one speaker said.

"She took this school district from an average report card grade to an excellent one," said another speaker. "She built brand new schools and filled them with enough technology to make any teacher in the country jealous."

McGinley resigned in late October after criticism for firing Academic Magnet football coach Bud Walpole for the team's post-game celebration of smashing a watermelon, which she said was racially insensitive.

Monday, NAACP president Dot Scott asked for the board to bring her back reading a letter from an Academic Magnet parent.

"The question I would ask you ask you to consider is this: Whatever your view of the situation at academic magnet, should that really be the primary driver in evaluating the totality of Dr. McGinley's performance," Scott said.

Even Charleston Mayor Joe Riley voiced his support saying the board had made a big mistake.

"What we lost in the process was an extremely accomplished educator," Mayor Riley said. "Someone with an unbelievably huge heart."

The district did not address McGinley's status or the possibility of bringing her back.

Many speakers also expressed concern for how teachers in the district are paid.

A recent district study found CCSD teachers were underpaid by $17 million dollars. Following the study, the district agreed to spend $8.5 million and give teachers 50-percent of their pay gap.

That means if a teacher was underpaid by $10,000, their pay raise would be $5,000.

Teachers at Monday's meeting say that's not what happened. They say teachers with bachelor's degrees got large raises while teacher with master's degrees or PhDs got almost nothing.

"The district promised to do something about it," Patrick Hayes, the Director of EdFirstSC said. "They told teachers they'd get half of what they're supposed to get and they didn't do that. Some teachers got as little as $89. They were $3,000 underpaid and they got $89. That's appalling."

The school district didn't address the issue during its meeting but said every employee received what they were intended to receive regardless of their position.

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