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N. Charleston to explore pulling schools from Charleston School District

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - North Charleston’s mayor has confirmed the city is exploring what would be required to withdraw schools in the city from the Charleston County School District.

Mayor Keith Summey said on Wednesday morning North Charleston City Council will explore breaking away from the school district to create their own.

“I think council is concerned about the number of failing schools that we have and what we can do generate more opportunity for the kids coming up in North Charleston,” he said. “It’s not anything that’s in concrete. It’s something that we’re looking at the possibility of.”

The effort, he says, is in a research phase to determine if the idea of pulling schools from the Charleston County School District is feasible, adding it would not be a “fast-paced” project.

Summey said he believes the city contributes more than what they are getting from the school district. He said the majority of failing schools in the district are in North Charleston.

“A community, at the end of the day, is only as strong as the education we can provide for our children, and we just want to make sure that our kids are getting the top chance that they can to get that education,” he said.

Summey said his vision would be for the schools to become a department within the city.

He says he believes it would ultimately take a voter referendum, likely in 2024, for the change to happen.

“We’re just interested in making sure that children in North Charleston have the same opportunities as children in the entire county to get the best possible education that they can, and that’s not to say that the school district is not making effort,” Summey said. “It’s saying we don’t believe that effort to date has been successful.”

Summey said he has not yet heard from the school district, adding he would like to sit down with them.

The mayor said he has not yet made a decision whether he will seek re-election, but expects to do so within the next 30 days.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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