In one corner we have a school building that began life as Rivers High School, renovated previously at a cost of millions, sitting vacant, perhaps as an emblem of wasted taxpayer dollars.
In the other corner we have an avid group of racially-diverse parents and citizens anxious to bring true academic success to downtown Charleston in an integrated setting in the form of a charter high school in District 20.
And in the middle we have obstructionist Gregg Meyers and the majority of the CCSD school board--that would be Douglas, Cook, Jordan, and Hampton-Green, who suddenly must defend the indefensible action taken arrogantly in August. The Board is about to find out that just because you have a 5-4 majority does not mean that riding roughshod over the minority has no consequences.
Today's editorial staff of the P & C does a fairly creditable job of taking on Meyers's self-serving Letter to the Editor published on the same page, so I'm just going to point out the downside if CCSD doesn't do a 180 and allow a public school to use a public school building in the same manner as James Island Charter High School and Orange Grove Elementary. As I've said before, parents stymied in creating better schools as charter schools ultimately will turn their efforts to school vouchers. Can you blame them? To them, their children's education is not an intellectual exercise. Even now, as reported in the State, the prospects for school choice look better for the next legislative session.
In addition, as the P & C's editors so delicately put it, "Mr. Meyers also writes that he will try to return the question of the school's rent to the board's agenda." My! I'm sure it will take a herculean effort for him to gather his sycophants to agree, since they've been following his advice all along.
The editors also point out that, "When the rent issue was last considered, two board members were not physically present but participated in the discussion by telephone. This issue is a critical one to the school's future and deserves a full hearing and debate, which to his credit, Mr. Meyers recognizes and is working to accomplish." Well, he certainly didn't recognize it the FIRST time around!
Maybe they're playing to his ego so that he will cooperate, but notice that the editors did not NAME the board members who participated and VOTED by telephone--that would be Board Chairwoman Nancy Cook and MEYERS HIMSELF. Further, it doesn't take a crystal ball to know who designed the invidious rent policy in the first place and knew that it would come to a vote while he was absent.
Gregg Meyers can make all the nice noises about charter schools he wishes, but the reality is that he can't stand the idea of losing power--a sad example of a former Civil Rights lawyer stuck in the sixties. Apparently, he suspects any group that he doesn't personally control of ulterior motives.
And he's part of a system that has produced de facto segregation in virtually every District 20 school. He's the one whose motives should be suspect.