Tag: charleston County School District

Charleston County School District Budget Problems

The Charleston County School District thinks it has found a way to close the continuing $18 million projected shortfall in its budget.

School District Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait told local media money in the capital fund could be moved to the general operating fund to help solve the shortfall with no impact on taxpayers.

According to a board member with knowledge of the plan, capital fund millage would be reduced with a corresponding increase in operating fund millage.

The idea is the overall plan to shift millage would be revenue neutral, thereby prompting the claim that taxpayers would not be affected.

However, this solution appears to fly in the face of Act 388 of 2006, which limited school budget operation fund taxation.

Act 388 specifically exempts owner occupied residences, what is known as 4% property, from taxation by school districts for operating funds. Only rental or second homes (6% property) and businesses (10%) property may be taxed for school operating funds.

The state raised the sales tax by one cent, which is designated to be turned over to school districts, according to a complex formula, to make up for the loss of 4% property tax revenue from operations millage.

However, when it comes to the capital fund millage, all three classes of property are taxed.

In addition, Act 388 sets limits on the amount operations fund millage can be raised in any one year with another complex formula involved.

Therefore, it’s not just a simple reduction of millage for one fund with a corresponding increase in millage for another fund that can be made.

Charleston County School District Board Censured

The Board of Trustees of the Charleston County School District was censured by the Board of the St. James-Santee Constituent School District No. 1 Tuesday.

The Charleston County School district was created by South Carolina Act 340 of the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967. This “Act of Consolidation” as it is called took the eight separate school districts, then operating within Charleston County, and put them under a county wide district to equally fund education in all areas of the county.

The formerly independent school districts remain as constituent school districts within the structure of the Charleston County School district with their own school boards and duties.

The St. James-Santee constituent board censure centers around the selection process that was used to hire Gerrita Postlewait as the new superintendent of the Charleston County School District.

Criticism has been raised over the fact that the hiring process continued during the aftermath of the Emanuel AME Church shootings of June 17, 2015.

The Act of Consolidation requires the CCSD “to carry out the will of the community in matters of public education.”

One of the criticisms is that much of the community was distracted in the aftermath of the shootings and could not fully participate in the community portion of the hiring process.

In the meantime, the feelings are the CCSD board went through the motions of a hiring process designed to conclude with the selection of the pre-determined winner Postlewait.

Gerrita Postlewait Hiring Controversy

Former Horry County School superintendent Gerrita Postlewait was named superintendent of the Charleston County School District Thursday.

The vote to hire was a 5-4 split decision among the nine county board members. The vote for Postlewait was taken after a motion by board member Dr. Chris Collins to offer a three year contract to current CCSD deputy superintendent Lisa Herring failed to gain a majority.

After the meeting, Collins told media there was no sincere effort (among board members) to seriously consider Herring because of her skin color. Herring is black.

Already the hiring of Postlewait has brought criticism.

Shortly after the hiring was announced, North Charleston mayor Keith Summey issued a statement expressing disappointment in the board’s decision and expressing hope that Postlewait will decline the offer. Summey is white.

Summey said the board decision should be revisited to consider a more diverse field of candidates. Summey added community members have worked too hard to hold the community together (in light of recent area shootings) to let it be disrupted by this decision.

According to several sources familiar with the hiring process, the NAACP is planning some type of protest of the decision to hire Postlewait.

Budgets - Cuts, Spending and You

Charleston County School District Accelerated Capital Projects

It seems a few campaign donations can accelerate building projects in the Charleston County School District.

According to information on the S.C. Ethics Commission website, CCSD Board of Trustees Chairman Cindy Bohn Coats, Vice Chairman Chris Staubes and member Kate Darby were all recipients of campaign donations from Carolina Park Development LLC, CDM of Charleston LLC and GFP Portside LLC.

Each of the three above named candidates received the maximum $1,000 donation from each of the three companies.