Current Status Bill Number:
856Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19980114Primary Sponsor: FordAll Sponsors: FordDrafted Document Number: res1500.rfResiding Body: SenateSubject: Charleston County Consolidated School Districts created, Schools and School Districts
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19980114 Introduced, read first time, placed on local and uncontested Calendar without reference Senate 19971215 Prefiled, placed on Local and Uncontested Calendar without referenceView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
January 14, 1998
L. Printed 1/14/98--S.
Read the first time January 14, 1998.
TO CREATE THE CHARLESTON COUNTY CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND TO REPEAL ACT NO. 340 OF 1967, AS LAST AMENDED BY ACT NO. 139 OF 1969, SO AS TO ABOLISH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF CHARLESTON COUNTY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The Charleston County School District is hereby divided into seven separate school districts to be known as:
(A) North Charleston Area District 1;
(B) East Cooper District 2;
(C) Peninsula of Charleston District 3, from the Battery to Pittsburg Avenue;
(D) West Ashley Area District 4;
(E) James Island Area District 5;
(F) Sea Island District 6, to include Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island; and
(G) Sea Island District 7, to include Edisto Island, Yongues Island, Adams Run, and Ravenel.
The school districts created by the provisions of this section shall hereafter be collectively referred to as the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts. The Charleston County Consolidated School Districts are bodies politic and corporate as defined by law and are vested with all of the powers, duties, and assets of the former Charleston County School District.
The initial board of trustees for the respective school districts shall consist of the members of the school board serving on the effective date of this section. These initial board members shall continue to serve until their successors are elected and qualify. The provisions of this section take effect July 1, 1998.
SECTION 2. The governing body of each district shall be a seven-member board whose members must be elected for terms of four years each from defined single-member districts. Each person elected to serve on the board of trustees of the respective Charleston County Consolidated School Districts must be a qualified elector of the district represented.
Upon expiration of the term of each member, his successor shall be a qualified elector of the same district and shall be elected in the general election preceding such expiration date by the qualified electors of the entire county for a term of four years and until his successor is elected and qualifies. In the event of a vacancy on the board, due to causes other than expiration of term, the vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by appointment by the Governor upon recommendation of a majority of the Charleston County Legislative Delegation.
SECTION 3. The initial members of the board of trustees shall take office on July 1, 1998, and from that date through June 30, 2000, shall exercise all of the powers, duties, and functions now devolved by law upon the Charleston County School District Board of Trustees. On and after July 1, 2000, they shall serve as the Board of Trustees for the respective Charleston County Consolidated School Districts created by this act. The members of the board of each school district shall meet within ten days after their election and shall organize by electing from their number a chairman and vice chairman.
All meetings of the board shall be held in the office of the Superintendent of Education for the School District of Charleston County. The members of the board shall receive a per diem allowance of ten dollars for meetings actually attended, not exceeding twenty meetings in any calendar year and mileage at the rate of nine cents per mile for each mile of travel from the place of his residence to and from such meetings. A majority of the board members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. The terms of office of the members of the Charleston County School District shall be terminated on June 30, 1998.
SECTION 4. (A) The Superintendent of Education for each district of Charleston County shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees of the respective Charleston County Consolidated School Districts for a term of four years. He shall be selected on the basis of professional qualifications as an administrator and shall have had experience in the administration of the affairs of schools. The first Superintendent of Education for each of the respective Charleston County School Districts appointed under the provisions of this act shall serve as superintendent-elect beginning July 1, 1998, and shall proceed with the plans and organization for the operation of the Charleston County School Districts on July 1, 1998. Thereafter, the Superintendent of Education for each of the respective Charleston County School Districts shall be appointed in January to take office on July first of the same year. The Superintendent of Education of the respective Charleston County School Districts, in addition to the duties imposed upon county superintendents of education by the general laws of this State, shall perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by the Board of Trustees of the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts.
(B) The superintendents of the respective school districts of Charleston County hired pursuant to the provisions of this section shall hereafter be collectively referred to as the Charleston County Board of Superintendents. In the course of fulfilling their duties and responsibilities as prescribed for county superintendents of education by the general laws of the State and the provisions of this act, the members of the Charleston County Board of Superintendents shall meet not less than weekly to discuss matters of concern to their respective districts.
(C) All magnet schools, school transportation systems, and special education systems of Charleston County shall be governed by the Charleston County Board of Superintendents as a concerted county-wide effort to provide these services.
SECTION 5. In addition to the duties, powers, and responsibilities now provided by law for county boards of education, and for school district trustees other than those devolved upon the trustees in Sections 6 and 7 of this act, the Board of Trustees of the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts shall:
(1) adopt and alter a corporate seal;
(2) adopt and publish administrative policies and procedures and maintain a system of public relations which will keep the public fully informed of the operation of the public schools;
(3) prescribe uniform employment procedures, position qualifications, and a uniform salary schedule for all professional personnel and establish and maintain a program of professional personnel recruitment to enable all schools in the county to employ fully-certified and capable employees;
(4) upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Education of the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts, appoint such number of assistant superintendents, resource personnel, and other county-wide personnel as deemed necessary;
(5) provide programs of in-service education for professional educational personnel in the county and promote the continuous development of qualified public leadership for the county schools;
(6) borrow in anticipation of the collection of taxes, state aid or federal aid. The borrowing shall be in the form of notes, maturing not later than one year from the date of issue, bearing such rate of interest as the board shall determine. The notes shall be payable, both principal and interest, from the funds in anticipation of the receipt of which they are issued, and to the payment of the principal of and interest on the notes for which such funds shall be pledged;
(7) determine and evaluate the educational program in the schools in the districts and provide a systematic program of curriculum development and revision designed to provide maximum educational opportunities for each child in the county;
(8) provide for physically and mentally handicapped children educational programs organized and conducted in cooperation with the social or civic organizations and agencies in the county or community; provide for intellectually gifted children a program which shall challenge their talents;
(9) keep an accurate record of board proceedings, which record shall be kept in the office of the board and shall be open to public inspection;
(10) authorize the purchase and sale of land, the planning and construction of new school facilities, and the maintenance and repair of existing buildings and grounds, and develop long-range planning for physical facilities and the educational program in the county;
(11) adopt a system of budgetary controls and annually adopt a budget, with power to revise when necessary, sufficient to meet the educational needs of the district;
(12) provide for the disbursement of all county, state, and federal educational funds received by the county or by any district in the county;
(13) shall approve, and maintain a central purchasing system for the purchase of all contractual services, equipment, and supplies and purchase all equipment and supplies for the district;
(14) prescribe the forms of vouchers or pay warrants to be used in said district; and
(15) cooperate with the County Council of Charleston in the annual audit of the financial affairs of the districts and one copy of each audit shall be kept in the office of the board, and one copy shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of Court for Charleston County, to be open to the public.
SECTION 6. The teachers and other district personnel necessary for the efficient operation of the schools in each district shall be employed by the trustees thereof, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts.
SECTION 7. The trustees in each of the districts shall have the power in their respective districts, subject to the appeal to the Board of Trustees of the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts in the manner provided by law:
(1) to transfer any pupil from one school to another within the same district so as to promote the best interest of education, and determine the school within such district in which any pupil shall enroll;
(2) to suspend or dismiss pupils when the best interest of the schools makes such action necessary;
(3) to cooperate with the State Department of Public Safety in enforcing safety rules and regulations applicable to school buses and making provisions for school bus transportation within the area of a district where such transportation has heretofore been in operation in such areas; and
(4) to require all school buses operated under any transportation contract to be covered by casualty liability insurance in an amount to be fixed by the district trustees, the policies to be approved by said trustees and filed in the office of the Superintendent of Education of the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts.
The trustees in each of the districts shall keep an accurate record of their proceedings, which record shall be kept in their office and shall be open to public inspection, and they shall annually make recommendations to the Board of Trustees of the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts relative to the educational affairs of the respective districts.
SECTION 8. No teacher or other professional employee shall be transferred from one district to another without the approval of such employee and the Board of Trustees of the Charleston County Consolidated School Districts.
SECTION 9. The compensation and benefits of any person employed in any district in the county whose employment is continued after the effective date of this act in the same or an equal position shall not be reduced.
SECTION 10. The Board of Trustees of the Charleston School Districts shall prepare and submit to the Charleston County Legislative Delegation, as information, on or before the fifteenth day of August of each year beginning in 1998, a proposed budget for the ensuing school year. In order to obtain funds for school purposes the board is authorized to impose an annual tax levy, commencing in 1998, not to exceed forty-three mills, exclusive of any millage imposed for bond debt service. Upon certification by the board to the county auditor of the tax levy to be imposed, the auditor shall levy and the county treasurer shall collect the millage so certified upon all taxable property in the district.
SECTION 11. The Charleston County Consolidated School Districts shall not assume any bonded indebtedness incurred prior to July 1, 1998, by any of the present school district. The bonded debt of the present school district incurred prior to July 1, 1998, shall remain the obligations of the district after July 1, 1998, which shall continue to be taxed accordingly.
SECTION 12. There is hereby levied upon all of the taxable property in Charleston County for the calendar year 1998 a tax of two mills on the dollar. The money derived from such levy shall be placed by the county treasurer to the credit of the County Board of Education and expended for school purposes in the county, including expenses for organizing the districts.
SECTION 13. If any part of this act shall be held unconstitutional, such unconstitutionality shall not affect the remainder of this act.
SECTION 14. Act No. 340 of 1967, as last amended by Act No. 139 of 1969, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 15. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.