MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Lincoln Middle-High School receives more tax money per student than any other school in Charleston County School District, but it ranks near the bottom of the district when it comes to test scores.
"It is very expensive," Joe Bowers, a board member for District One, said. "I think Charleston County school district has put us in this predicament."
District One oversees Lincoln along with St. James-Santee Elementary School. Bowers says the high cost per student is because enrollment has gone down due to poor test scores and curriculum options.
"You're not getting the same as the other seven districts that make us CCSD," Bowers said. "We are not getting the same course offerings. It's completely different world."
The average high school in CCSD receives $10,000 per student, but Lincoln Middle/High School received $25,700, almost three times that.
"The cost per student is high," Michael Bobby, the acting superintendent for CCSD said. "We strive mightily to provide a comprehensive high school experience. It becomes very difficult."
The high school's most recent report card from the state ranks it as 'Average' with an 'At-Risk' growth rating. The Middle School is ranked as 'Below Average' after dropping this past year.
Bowers says more money doesn't mean better scores.
"We have student that are in poverty situations, and we're in a rural area and a lot of those grants and special money have stipulations as to how it's to be spent, and it's very limiting," Bowers said.
He says the school needs more people who care and better courses.
"I really don't think we should be focusing so much on the price of the education but the quality of the education and I don't think we're getting quality education here," Bowers said.
Bobby says the district has no immediate plans for changing the curriculum or lowering the high cost.
"It's going to continue to remain a challenge," Bobby said. "Our job is to provide the very best educational experiences for children. No matter where they live. Our job is to find the best way to do that."
"I think CCSD's number one priority should be turning Lincoln Middle/High School around, if excellence really is our standard," Bowers said.
Bobby says the school district has discussed longer term strategies like charging the border between districts one and two or turning Lincoln Middle/High School into a K- 12 school.
Laing Middle School gets the least amount of money per student. It's cost is $5,700 per student each year.