Orangeburg parents concerned over district consolidation proposa - - Columbia, South Carolina

Orangeburg parents concerned over district consolidation proposal


Orangeburg is divided into three consolidated school districts, but state Sen. Brad Hutto has proposed putting them all together and cutting costs in the process.

But the proposal has many Orangeburg parents concerned because they haven't been consulted.

"To this date, I've seen no indication as to where the cost cuts will be," said Brenda Turner.

Turner came to the State House to reach out to lawmakers before the bill becomes law. She says the biggest issue is the lack of communication in Orangeburg.

"The bill was introduced very quickly, with very little vetting from the community," said Turner. "So none of the members of our community, whether it's Orangeburg Consolidated 3, 4, or 5 have had any input."

Which is why Turner is pushing for at least an open forum or discussion for the bill in Orangeburg. Other parents have expressed the same concerns to us, posting on our Facebook page saying they want to be heard.

"That is my duty for being here today," said Turner. "To communicate for our students and our community. We feel that we deserve the right to have an input."

Turner says she can see where costs could be cut from the bill if it becomes law, but says it will take two years to create a unified school district.

"Naturally, when you take three districts and consolidate it into one, you've got different philosophies about instruction. You've got different payscales for various categories of employees," said Turner.

We did reach out to Hutto's office so he could address some of Turner's concerns. His aide told us he was in session but would try to get the message to him. However, we did not hear back from Hutto, who is also running for U.S. Senate, as of this report.

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