February 11, 2014
The Pickens County School Board resisted the powers that be of the public education system, and they are being smacked down by one of the system’s attack dogs, the AdvancED accreditation agency.
The school district soaked the taxpayers for a $375 million building program, after a referendum half that size was defeated in a 2 to 1 vote. Looking to cap rising costs, the board voted to cancel the second middle school in Easley. The project was $8 million over budget after the leaders of Easley hijacked the design.
How dare the board challenge the leaders of Easley, who along with Clemson, had been running the school district?
When the board put that abandoned school up for sale and a charter school wanted to buy it, the board considered it. This angered the public education gods. In turn, AdvancED wrote the board is not fulfilling its advocacy role of the school district.
When $13 million in extra interest was earned in the building program, the board voted to put that money in an escrow account to pay down some of the $350 million building debt. How dare the board not spend that money too. The first meeting after Ben Trotter resigned, in a 3 to 2 vote, that money was spent.
As charter schools are cropping up all over the state, the school system is in a panic. To hold the ranks among boards, districts and employees, they are cracking the whip to insure all toe the line.