CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A local organization is fighting for quality education for all students. Saturday it held a public clinic at Burke High School to discuss education reform.
The group, Quality Education Project (QEP) has concerns with privatizing public education in Charleston County. QEP is a research based organization all about community engagement to support and initiate education policy reform.
"There are a lot of changes in Charleston County School District right now that deal with private companies and private entities working with the governance of the schools so we want to clarify issues around privatization," co-director of QEP, Jon Hale said.
Hale says the group believes private donations can be great for schools, however it has an issue when the people who make those donations start to change the way a school is governed.
"That takes it out of the public hands and therefore becomes unconstitutional, unethical, immoral because there's a lack of transparency," Hale said.
Co-director of QEP Millicent Brown was one of the first students to integrate public schools in Charleston in 1963. South Carolina was one of the last states to integrate in the country.
Brown is concerned about who is in control when public schools are privatized.
"We have groups making decisions about who will be hired who will be suspended who will be admitted to these public schools but they are not answerable to the public," Brown said.
Though schools in Charleston County have seen success in privatization, the group's concern is that it only impacts a small portion of students.
"The question is can we continue to... support an educational system that only helps hundreds and ignores thousands," Brown said. "We found ways to avoid people who are impoverished and public education cannot do that."
Organization leaders say equity in education should be the responsibility of the state and the local school district to publicly govern schools.
"These are issues facing public education that are going on throughout the south and throughout the nation," Brown said.
The Quality Education Project is launching a series of workshops. You can visit the Facebook page for more information. https://www.facebook.com/groups/689466667846441/