Don’t let the Money People control our school board

Don’t let the Money People control our school board
November 04 13:26 2018 Print This Article

I consider the four Charleston County School Board seats the most important races on the ballot Tuesday. I don’t want to see the Money People control our school board. A non-profit group called Coalition For Kids is putting up big money to back the three incumbents on the ballot – Kate Darby, Cindy Bohn Coats and Eric Mack. The group, which consists of two Billionaires, two banks and lots of wealthy donors has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote its slate through billboards, signs, TV ads, and glossy mail pieces. Why is all that money going into school board races? What do the donors expect in return?  These are questions voters should think about.

I’m a big Gamecock football fan. If the team had losing records year after year, the coach would get fired. Charleston County School District (CCSD) has pockets of excellence, but overall, it is not winning for a majority of its 50,000 students. A majority of students failed to meet or exceed state grade level standards in English and math in the SC Ready testing. Only five neighborhood schools outside of East Cooper had 50% or more of its students meeting or exceeding state grade level standards. Districtwide, only 11.5% of black 7th graders met or exceeded state standards in math. At Chicora Elementary in North Charleston, only 1.2% of 5th graders met or exceeded the math standards.

The incumbents have not developed a policy to turn these results around. They need to be fired by the voters. Here are the candidates being endorsed by Lowcountry Source:

Sarah Shad Johnson. Sarah is the Mt. Pleasant constituent school board chair and has expertise in finance and law.

Jake Rambo. Jake is the former Principal at James B. Edwards Elementary. He will be a strong advocate for revising the CCSD student discipline manual and an advocate for teachers.

Vivian Sheppard Pettigrew. Vivian is retired CCSD teacher, trainer and administrator and a small business owner. She has expertise in finance.

Paul Padron. Paul was a successful principal at 3 CCSD schools. He instituted a magnet program to successfully integrate Haut Gap Middle School on Johns Island and improve student performance. He will ensure that every CCSD principal has the support needed to improve student outcomes.

Note that the absentee voting stations are open from 8:30 am to 5 pm Monday and the polls will be open from 7 am to 7 pm Tuesday at their normal locations. Show the Money People that they don’t control our school district!