Outrage over potential school closures and job cuts at CCSD

Outrage over potential school closures and job cuts at CCSD

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County School District board met Monday evening to discuss the 2016-2017 budget and make up for its $18 million shortfall.

While leaders didn't vote on closing schools or cutting jobs, nearly 100 people in the community came to the meeting to sound-off on those possibilities.

"We're begging of you, please don't cut positions that are imperative to the well-being of our scholars," said a local teacher.

The board is considering closing Lincoln Middle-High School in McClellanville, moving middle school students from Sanders-Clyde Creative Arts to Simmons Pinckney Middle School, cutting several assistant principal positions, and getting rid of some school programs.

CCSD teacher of the year Emilie Woody said she's frustrated and hopes the board doesn't lose sight of what's important.

"It's about the kids," said Woody. "Put the kids first and then we'll make the right decisions."

Woody has been a teacher for 27 years,14 of those years for CCSD.

She proposed raising millage to help with the budget shortfall.

Many didn't come with ideas, but begged the board to find another way to come up with money.

"Schools really shouldn't be closed," said Willette Wilkins. "Kids need to get to be able to walk to school."

Outside the meeting, on the sidewalk along Calhoun Street, people filled out cards with their concerns.

A group of concerned Charlestonians put together the effort and will deliver the cards to CCSD board Tuesday.

Some of the cards read: "Please consider making a transition plan for Sanders-Clyde Middle School."

"Closing the gap is key. So, we need to think of our students' well-being first."

As the board works to find solutions for the school district's budget, many hope it won't be at the expense of others.

The board is expected to vote on possible school closing and jobs cuts Monday, May 9.

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