Charleston County School District, South Carolina
|Charleston County School District|
|Charleston County, South Carolina|
|Superintendent:||Michael Bobby (Acting)|
|Number of schools:||80|
|Website:||School Home Page|
|Board of Education|
|Board president:||Cindy Bohn Coats|
- 1 About the district
- 2 Superintendent
- 3 School board
- 4 Budget
- 5 Teacher salaries
- 6 Schools in Charleston County School District
- 7 Academic performance
- 8 Issues
- 9 Contact information
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
About the districtCharleston County, South Carolina. The county seat of Charleston County is Charleston. Charleston County is home to 350,209 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.
Charleston County overperformed in comparison to the rest of South Carolina in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 38.4 percent of Charleston County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 24.6 percent for South Carolina as a whole. The median household income in Charleston County was $50,289 compared to $44,623 for the state of South Carolina. The poverty rate in Charleston County was 17.7 percent compared to 17.6 percent for the entire state.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
The acting superintendent of Charleston County School District is Michael Bobby, who was appointed to the position in October 2014 following the resignation of Superintendent Nancy McGinley. Bobby was previously serving as the district's chief financial officer.
The Charleston County Board of Education is a nonpartisan board that consists of nine members elected to four-year terms. They serve by specific geographic area; three members each are elected from the East Cooper, North Area and West Ashley residential areas. Members receive $25 per scheduled board meeting. The superintendent serves as the executive secretary for the board.
School board elections
Members of the board are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis. Five seats were up for election on November 4, 2014, which included one special election for a two-year term. Appointed board member Tripp Wiles was elected to that seat. Five seats will be on the ballot in November 2016.
Public participation in board meetings
The board maintains the following policy regarding public participation in board meetings on its website:
The table below displays the budget for Charleston County School District:
Charleston County teacher salaries are based on years of experience and educational attainment. A teacher can earn a higher salary by pursuing advanced degrees. The following table details the salary schedule for the 2014-2015 school year.
Schools in Charleston County School District
The district served 42,318 students during the 2011-2012 school year. The district experienced a 3.4 percent increase in enrollment between 2010 and 2012. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2010 and 2012:
Charleston County School District operates 80 schools listed below in alphabetical order:
The South Carolina Department of Education administers annual tests to district students called the South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SC PASS). These tests assess the proficiency of district students in five academic subjects including reading, math, science, social studies and writing. The following table details the percentage of students who met and exceeded proficiency levels on the SC PASS during the 2013-2014 school year:
Resignation of Superintendent Nancy McGinley
Charleston County School District's longest-serving superintendent, Nancy McGinley, tendered her resignation to the board on October 30, 2014, in a closed-door session. The board voted 8-1 to accept her resignation, with board member Michael Miller casting the dissenting vote. McGinley's resignation came in light of controversy in the district, wherein Academic Magnet High School football coach Bud Walpole was fired and rehired after his post-game victory celebrations were investigated. McGinley's staff fired Walpole after discovering his questionable practices, and the immediacy angered some people in the district. The Post and Courier columnist Brian Hicks stated that "even McGinley supporters will tell you that she handled that Academic Magnet fiasco poorly" and "by any measure, it was a public relations disaster." Conversely, McGinley has also been commended for reducing "at-risk" schools in the district, while also bolstering school choice.
Board Chairwoman Cindy Bohn Coats insisted that the board did not ask for McGinley's resignation, nor was it related to the Walpole incident. Coats declined to say what prompted the resignation, saying, "that's not something I, as the chair, can comment on." As part of her resignation presentation to the board, McGinley stated that "within the last two weeks our fleet got hit by a tidal wave that has torn us apart" and that the board has "the right to pick the superintendent and make a leadership change." Miller, who was also the board member that alerted district official's of Walpole's post-game practices, stated that his reason for voting against the resignation was that he didn't think leadership should be changed amidst racial tension in the district. He said, "for Dr. McGinley to leave our school district in this manner, I was not willing to support that."
McGinley came to the district in 2004, and had been serving as superintendent since 2007. McGinley's contract does not end until 2016, and therefore she will remain a district employee and receive her salary and benefits until June 30, 2015. McGinley's annual salary is $226,278. Following that date, McGinley will receive a payment of eight months' salary and benefits. Michael Bobby, the district's chief financial officer, was named acting superintendent.
Michael Bobby address to board, community
On November 10, 2014, the same night three new board members were sworn into office, acting superintendent Michael Bobby gave his first speech to teachers, parents and administrators regarding the district's recent incidents. Bobby stressed the importance of respect and dignity in the coming months as the district transitions from under the leadership of Nancy McGinley. In reference to McGinley, Bobby stated that "this district has been the fortunate recipient of a strong, courageous visionary leader who's left a legacy that we here have a responsibility to continue and to build upon." He stressed that unity is in the best interest of the district and "the only way that we can best serve 48,000 children." Other concerns were also addressed in the meeting, including changes to the district's Angel Oak Elementary, which has had flooding and cockroach problems.
Football coach firing and rehiring
After district officials made the decision on October 20, 2014, to fire Academic Magnet High School football coach Bud Walpole as a result of his post-game victory celebrations, Superintendent Nancy McGinley offered him his job back. The decision to fire Walpole was met with scrutiny from the community, and after two days the coach was rehired. The grounds on which Walpole was initially fired involved his post-game tradition of smashing a watermelon, with players allegedly gathering around in a circle and making "monkey sounds." The watermelon also had a caricature face drawn onto it in black marker. School board member Michael Miller went to the district on October 13, 2014, with the coach's alleged actions, raising concerns over racial undertones after hearing from a disturbed parent. The Charleston Branch of the NAACP came out in support of the firing, calling the situation "inappropriate and racially insensitive." Support for Coach Walpole's reinstatement quickly developed, though, with a player-led petition gathering over 4,000 signatures to return Walpole to his coaching duties. After being briefed on the incident, several school board members, including Todd Garrett, Tripp Wiles and Elizabeth Moffly were in support of rehiring Walpole. According to Garrett, while the sensitive reaction to the incident was understandable, administrators rushed the termination process. Garrett said, "it took a harmless student-led sports team celebration out of context" and that "this is a teachable moment, not a time for heads to roll." Coach Walpole's rehiring required that he submit a "written statement of commitment", attend any sensitivity training offered by the district and counsel players on dealing with others from diverse racial backgrounds.
Yes 4 Schools referendum
In the November 4, 2014, election voters approved the "Yes 4 Schools" referendum that will aim to fix the county's overcrowding issue. For residents, it means a one cent sales tax will continue through 2022. According to Board Chair Cindy Bohn Coats, "of the ways to fund school construction in the state of South Carolina, this is the best option. This is a user tax, it is a sales tax not a property tax." Those against the referendum agreed with the issue at hand, but criticized the haste with which the measure was brought to voters. Charleston GOP chairman John Steinberger said, "we certainly need to build more schools in the high growth areas, but we don't need a $14-million football stadium in North Charleston or some of these other projects that just aren't warranted right now." The approved rate will raise a minimum of $540 million for the district throughout the next eight years.