Charleston Co. School Board may close and consolidate schools after budget shortfall

CCSD meeting on budget shortfall, could close schools

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County School Board met on Monday about its $18 million budget shortfall and what to cut next school year to make up for it.

A spokesperson with the board says the district would take away the positions from schools that don't necessarily need the position.

The board is planning to come up with a new allocation policy by the end of the week.

Parents are concerned because they wanted more notice and input before these options were brought up. Many of them plan to be at the meeting.

"I want the community to be involved, I want all parents to come out and let their voices be heard and speak for their children," said Latonya Gamble, president of the Eastside Neighborhood Association.

Charleston County community members like Gamble spoke out about the concerns they have with the district's plans.

Sanders Clyde Creative Arts Schools serves kindergarten through eighth grade. The district wants to move the middle school students to another school.

"They always do it in short notice which do not give parents enough time to make informed decisions about where they would like their children to go," Gamble said.

The board chairman says they will likely discuss the potential closing of Lincoln Middle-High School in McClellanville because of low enrollment.

The high school students from that school would likely go to Wando High School, a top six school in the state.

Joe Bowers a constituent board member from the district says he sees the benefits from it, but parents and students have expressed some concern.

"It's great on one hand where you have the students who are going to be taking advantage of all these offerings at Wando, but then you know on the con side, students are going to have to travel long distances," Bowers said.

Wando and Lincoln are more than 20 miles apart.

There are plans in the works to renovate St. James Santee Elementary in McClellanville, and send Lincoln Middle School students there.

These are just some of the topics that could come up in Monday night's meeting. However, there is no guarantee that a final decision will be made concerning these topics.

Some of the discussions on cuts could go on until the budget has to be finalized in June.

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