From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
Charleston - At a special board meeting Thursday night, Charleston County School District board members voted to change a referendum affecting new projects for schools in District One, specifically in McClellanville.
“So we changed the referendum we approved in July," said Board Chairwoman Cindy Coats. “We added a new project; an entire new high school in District One. It will be on the sales tax ballot referendum that the public is going to be voting on in November."
Officials say building Lincoln High School a brand new 9-12 grade campus, at a location that is not yet determined, will be on that ballot.
Coats explained, "What happened today is we've given the public a “project list” to evaluate and to decide on. We are now waiting on you to respond which is in fact the November ballot election."
Many McClellanville residents and public school supporters attended the meeting on Thursday night.
Erma Harrell told News2 she worked for Wando High School for 37 years and said, "We want a new school. No renovations. New! I'll say it again, what you waiting for? Give us a school!"
Some people in District One told News2 that they feel as if their schools have been neglected by the county. Joe Bowers is a candidate for the District One School Board and said, "We feel we have been ignored. We don't offer the things that other districts offer, and we feel that is not fair because the purpose of the Charleston County School District is to offer equal education opportunities across the board, and we feel that we are not getting that. So that's why we came here to demand a new school.” Harrell added, "That's all we want, the same quality."
The changes to the referendum needed to happen on Thursday in order to file it with the Charleston County Board of Elections, whose deadline is on Friday.
After the meeting with adjourned, Coats asked, "Why didn't we do this due diligence before tonight? Why did we have to put everybody into a state of understanding what was going to happen and then tell them now it's not going to happen? But we still have until November for everyone to wrap their head around the list and decided how they want to vote."
Because the motion carried, district officials say this vote will be on the ballot in November and it will be up to the public to decide whether or not this final project list goes through.
The Charleston County School Board also voted to keep renovations to St. James-Santee Elementary on the referendum.
In 2010 Charleston County voters approved a 1% sales tax. Officials say the funds generated by this tax will be used to fund the district-wide school improvements.
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