Council plans to split its policy manual

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) — The Charleston County School Board will consider a decision on Monday that could change who sets district policy. The proposal before the board is to split its policy manual into two – one for the board and one for the district as a whole.

“Any changes to the Board Policy Manual will be submitted to the Board for approval,” the agenda item reads. “District policies will be the responsibility of the superintendent and will no longer be submitted to the board for approval.”

School board candidate and former board member Kevin Hollinshead said the change would result in the elected board losing its authority to the superintendent. He argues that board members shouldn’t seek office if they plan to leave “the majority of their policy decisions to the superintendent.”

Hollinshead called a press conference ahead of Monday’s meeting at 11:30 a.m. to voice its concerns. Several other candidates for the school board are also expected.

Board member Kristen French says the policy change does not weaken the board and is more of an housekeeping item to bring the district up to speed on best practices.

“The CCSD Board will discuss dividing the current board policy manual into two manuals: the board policy and the district policy,” French wrote in a statement. “The sections that would fall under district policy are, for the most part, required by federal and state law. Monday’s decision would not relieve the Council of its legal obligations to vote on various matters covered by state and federal laws that may fall under the District’s Policy Manual. For example, many tax decisions that impact the district and our schools would be made by the Audit and Finance Committee of the CCSD Board of Directors and would continue [to] Board for review and vote.

The school board has two meetings on Monday. The Committee of the Whole begins at 1:30 p.m. and will be followed by the regular meeting at 3:45 p.m. They will be held at the District Headquarters at 75 Calhoun Street.

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