Board considers move to split its policy manual

The Charleston County School Board will consider a move on Monday that may change who is setting policy for the district.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 8:13 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2022 at 6:50 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School Board will consider a move on Monday that may change who is setting policy for the district. The proposal before the board is to split its policy manual into two – one for the board of trustees and the other for the district at large.

“Any changes to the Board Policy Manual will come to the board for approval,” the agenda item reads. “District policies will be the responsibility of the superintendent and no longer come to the board for approval.”

School board candidate and former board member Kevin Hollinshead says this change would result in the elected board forfeiting its authority to the superintendent. He argues board members should not seek to hold office if they planning on turning over “a majority of their policy decisions to the superintendent”.

Hollinshead has called a press conference ahead of Monday’s meeting at 11:30 a.m. to voice his concerns. Several other school board candidates are expected to attend as well.

Board member Kristen French says the policy change does not weaken the board and is more akin to a housekeeping item to bring the district up to speed with best practices.

“The CCSD Board will be discussing dividing the current board Policy Manual into two manuals: Board Policy and District Policy,” French wrote in a statement. “The sections which would fall under District Policy are, for the most part, required by state and federal law. The decision on Monday would not absolve the Board from its legal duties to vote on various issues covered by state and federal law which might fall under the District Policy Manual. For instance, many fiscal decisions which impact the District and our schools would come through the CCSD Board’s Audit & Finance Committee and continue [to] the Board for consideration and a vote.”

The school board has two meetings on Monday. The Committee of the Whole starts at 1:30 p.m. and will be followed by the regular meeting at 3:45 p.m. They will take place at the district’s headquarters at 75 Calhoun Street.

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