SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - People from across Dorchester County arrived to voice their concerns on school funding in district two.
DD2 is expecting a $2 million budget shortfall next year, and to compensate the district has proposed hiring freezes, larger classroom sizes, an overhaul of the district's school bus system, and increasing property taxes.
In all, the school district is proposing to Dorchester County Council a tax increase that would generate $1.5 million. It would impact small businesses and homeowners and property owners.
"The business community is very concerned," Councilman Byars said. "We aren't already competitive compared with Berkeley and Charleston Counties. Similar sized businesses… will pay less property taxes across the county line than they will here. The majority of that is because they are paying very heavily to operate (schools) in Dorchester."
Not every Dorchester County council member is on board with DD2's budget proposal.
"We've got a long way to go until we fall into these dire predictions that we've got today," Councilman David Chinnis said.
Some council members are hopeful a tax increase can be avoided if state lawmakers free up funds that could cover the shortfall.
"We believe there is still, potentially, money coming out of Columbia that will help that," Chinnis said. "And I really believe, wholeheartedly without question, that the legislature needs to fix the school funding issue in South Carolina."
Crowds gathered outside the Dorchester County Council Chambers in Summerville for the meeting, which began at 5 p.m. Many who gathered supported more funding for DD2 schools.