Burns Elementary school to be run by private company through partnership

Published: Apr. 26, 2016 at 2:25 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2016 at 2:49 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County School board voted Monday to move forward with the partnership with Meeting Street Schools, and approved specific provisions.

The partnership would allow the organization Meeting Street Schools to run Burns Elementary School with the school board.

The goal is to improve Burns Elementary School.

In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Burns Elementary was listed as "at risk" in the state report card.

"For four years now, CCSD has not improved of those students," CCSD board chair Cindy Coats said.

Meetings Street Schools (MSS) is currently running Brentwood Elementary. That partnership started in 2014.

Since then, CCSD board members say students scores have improved and the school has gotten better.

That's why the vote Monday to approve the partnership had many board members excited for the future.

"Burns Elementary kids are fixin' to get a whole lot of extra educational support that we have two years of proof showing that it's going to make a difference in those children's lives immediately," Coats said.

Meanwhile, some teachers are concerned.

Under the provisions voted on, the school board approved giving MSS the power to fire and hire teachers at will.

Some feel that's not offering teachers the protection they deserve.

"It allows teachers to be fired at will, like a Walmart employee," Drayton Hall Elementary School teacher Patrick Hayes said.

But, others say there's nothing to worry about.

In fact, Meeting Street Schools has not dismissed a teacher at Brentwood since the partnership.

"As an educator and parent in Meeting Street Schools, we feel completely supported in every aspect," teacher Andrea Hart said.

During the public comment portion, more than 10 people spoke to board members about the partnership.

While they had conflicting views, they ultimately had the same goal in mind.

"It's not about the adults, it's about the children," Executive director of MSS Amy Mims said.

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