CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District board is now set to meet with more than 20 lawmakers on Dec. 13.
Twenty-one state legislators asked the district to halt all votes on the proposed changes that would close some schools and merge others. They requested a meeting with the district and the board before any votes were taken. This is the second time this meeting has been moved. It was originally scheduled for Nov. 8 before any votes were taken, but there were some scheduling conflicts with lawmakers.
It was then moved to Nov. 22.
The board, not halting any votes, went forward with voting on broad-sweeping recommendations during its Monday meeting that would affect almost two dozen schools.
Most of those changes, including closing Minnie Hughes Elementary and rezoning all Mary Ford Elementary students to Chicora Elementary, only need one more vote to become official. That could happen during next Monday’s meeting.
“It really is a slap to the face," State Sen. Sandy Senn said. “I know they have put a lot of work into this, and it could be that we all sit down, they can explain these decisions, and maybe we can understand them, but there’s a communication gap somewhere.”
Only Buist Academy and partial magnet recommendation decisions will need a second vote for approval after the scheduled meeting with lawmakers. Those votes will happen on Dec. 16. Everything else could be approved before it.
“There are things we could do on the state level," Senn said. “Those things are very drastic, and it would be something as a delegation we’d have to take seriously before we would do it. But, we would like them to take us seriously as well.”
Senn isn’t alone. State Rep. Wendell Gilliard is also asking the district to slow down and hold off on making anything official until after they meet.
“I think the school board is moving too fast, too soon," Gilliard said. "They’ve created a maze. You almost have to sit down and have three or four months of study for the things they keep coming up with.”
A comment from the school board’s chair has been requested.