Monday, March 28, 2016

CCSD's Deceptive Practices on Stono Park Elementary

The Charleston County School District believes that Stono Park parents have short memories. Otherwise, why would the district now be claiming that a new building for the school was not in the list of projects which caused the "not-a-penny" sales tax to pass in November 2010.

Yet some memories are part of the public record. Here's what the reporter wrote in October 2010:
The following are the projects that likely would be completed if voters support a six-year, one-penny sales tax increase 
New schools: Harbor View Elementary, Memminger Elementary, James Simons Elementary, Buist Academy, Charleston Progressive Academy, Springfield Elementary, a career technology academy at Wando High, Chicora Elementary, St. Andrews School of Math and Science, Montessori Community School, Laing Middle, North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary, Stono Park Elementary and Jennie Moore Elementary.
Renovation: Murray-LaSaine Elementary, Angel Oak Elementary, James Island Charter High (new fine arts center and improvements to athletic fields), Azalea Drive bus lot, Pinehurst Elementary (the former Birney Middle campus), Rhett building at Burke High (for Lowcountry Tech) and high school athletic facilities.
Design plans: Dunston Elementary
How about bait-and-switch to get the needed votes from each area of the district? Of course, it says "likely." Did any Stono Park voters think it unlikely that a new school would appear?

The board earlier this month put off making a decision until September. So voters need to ask, why September?

According to reports, "district officials have said that money is currently available for a $9 million renovation at Stono Park, but not for a full rebuild. Many parents believe the district promised a full rebuild of the school when the 2010 penny sales tax ballot measure stated it would be spent on 'construction and equipping' of Stono Park." That's not the same as renovation, folks.

Imagine what the outcry would have been if CCSD had treated Buist Academy in this fashion. That's silly, of course--such handling of Buist parents never would have crossed its mind.

Don't forget--this uproar is entirely separate from the district's $18 million shortfall. Maybe someone needs to scrutinize how penny tax funds were spent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

CCSD's deceptive practices go a lot further than just Stono Park. One of the main points board chair Chris Frazer made was that there would be no contracts or design projects awarded in advance of the next solicitation of the capital program. However if you look at CCSD's procurement web site they are awarding new construction design and maintenance projects that are not part of the list approved by the board. Just another way of stopping minority contracts from getting work with the district.