Wednesday, September 11, 2013

CCSD Board Members Must Justify Racist Voting on Lowcountry Leadership Charter School

Michael Miller, Craig Ascue, and Chris Collins need to justify their votes against the sixty-day lease of the vacant Schroder Middle School building to the Lowcountry Leadership Charter School (LLCS). Evidently each cares more about inventing racial problems than supporting the district in providing the most effective use of Other People's Money.

Any sensible person would applaud the requirements put on LLCS for use of the building as improving the finances of the Charleston County School District. Without the $128,000 in rent and additional building repairs assumed by LLCS, this asset would sit vacant and deteriorating for those two months. CCSD certainly has no plans for it! In addition, the lease cannot be renewed, and school starting time will differ from the adjacent C.C. Blaney Elementary School. So what's the problem?

First of all, none of the three opposed board members lives anywhere near Hollywood, SC, where the schools are located, so whatever ideas they have are coming second-hand. The citizens who are most affected by problems in that part of the district who showed up for the School Board meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of the charter school. The accusations that charter schools are a stalking horse for taking us back to sixties segregation are a joke with no basis in fact, although that has never stopped the NAACP from opposing them. You need only look at the racist rhetoric from the NAACP regarding the Charter School for Math and Science downtown (the most integrated school in the district) to realize the idiocy of these ideas.

Charter schools, whether approved by the state or by the district, are public schools open to all students. In this case, of the 400 students expected at LLCS, 67 percent are "low income" and 25 percent are minority. That ratio means that the school is more evenly divided both economically and racially than virtually any other school in CCSD, including Blaney. Is that what bothers our three board members?

Chris Collins, of all people, should have supported the lease, given his own history of leasing from the district. How ironic.

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