No...Just Mt. Pleasant is in the Deep South. The rest of us are trying, more or less successfully, to find the door connecting Charleston to the real world.
Yes, Arthur Ravenel wants your school to continue as a school, even a charter school. Nancy McGinley, Gregg Meyers and Toya Green, on the other hand, want to close your school and sell it.
Sounds like the CCSD public relations people have spun you. They told you the state is cutting their funds by $5-6 million. That's true, but it's not the whole story. They didn't tell you about the additional $10 million they are getting from the new property tax law which allows for interim reassessments (and higher taxable values) on properties bought/sold last year.
The extensive renovations planned for Rivers, while the Math and Science Charter School waits in trailers at the back door, is part of CCSD's ploy to put off, delay and block the charter school from getting into the building at all. Take a look at what CCSD has done in just the last six months. They've trashed the interior of what was, until this year, a very usable 90,000 s.f. school. CCSD is not a very good steward of buildings or educational programs.
If the powers that be in place at 75 Calhoun Street were serious about putting their house in order, they would have done it years ago. Why not do more charter school conversions? If it allows failing schools to turn around and encourages communities to become more vested in their success, then CCSD would have walked Burke through the process 5 years ago. Even if the Burke community were to come out publicly in support of this, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a "conversion" in the thinking at CCSD.
Whatever CCSD's ultimate justifications are for selling the real estate to meet operating expenses, this is an important subject. It needs far more understanding of what is really going on in the background. CCSD's latest round of hand wringing and school closures isn’t just about reducing expenses. Not with CCSD quietly tweaking a planned bond issue for building $100's of millions in new schools coming up next year.
Good commentary. There are at least two sides to this story and the writer seems more than willing to look at them objectively. Too bad the majority who have run our schools these last couple of decades can't seem to do the same. Of course, they have a vested interest in keeping things just as they are with a few that get and the many that don't. Unless some tough questions are asked (and answered) we will probably have to settle for more of the same from our local public school officials after the elections in November. Thanks to the writer for putting some of the right questions on the table.
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