DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Dorchester School District Two officials are uniting behind a focused list of items they want to see prioritized at the State House this legislative session.
Like most school districts in South Carolina, DD2 is struggling with teacher pay.
District officials say teacher salary increases are important to ensure DD2 is able to attract, develop and retain quality teachers.
Superintendent Joe Pye laid out the dire situation he believes the district is in if something doesn't change.
"We want our community to know that what you are hearing going on all over the state is affecting us, but we have more to lose than anybody, and we have more to gain than anybody," Pye said. "We are either in the sweet spot of success or the disaster zone of total wipeout."
The district is holding a teacher recruitment event January 26 from 8:30am to 1pm at Summerville High School.
Meanwhile, DD2's legislative committee also laid out these other priorities they hope state lawmakers can address:
- Reform and implement changes to the state's tax laws (emphasis, ACT 388) to correct the challenges and unintended consequences created through previously implemented legislation
- Fully fund the Base Student Cost to the levels prescribed as per codified funding formula, not to lower mandated levels prescribed through annual budget provisos
- Provide full fiscal autonomy to the elected members of the Dorchester School District Two Board of Trustees
- Remove the unnecessary and detrimental 15% limited cast reserve cap as prescribed in Section 3 of Act 593 of 1992
- Implement policies and legisltaion that will generate appropriate, stable, and recurring revenues to public education, with an emphasis on providing necessary funding to state-imposed education mandates
DD2 officials are working on a grassroots network and community meetings to create awareness about the issues facing Dorchester County schools.
They hope to educate district stakeholders like parents and business owners about how they can help push these priorities to the forefront of the education reform discussion in Columbia.
District officials are also planning to hold a panel-style town hall event on February 11, 2019, in the Lightsey Chapel Auditorium on the Charleston Southern University campus.
The event will also include representatives from Charleston County School District, Berkeley County School District, and schools in Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton counties.