Pickens County doesn’t need a 7th seat

I oppose State Representatives Neal Collins and Gary Clary’s effort to add a seventh seat to the Pickens County school board.

They said they are doing this because AdvancED wants this, but reading AdvancED’s report they did not mention 3 to 3 votes being a concern. I’m not surprised because there have been less than ten 3 to 3 votes of the hundreds cast by the six member board. And most of those votes were later settled by compromise among the board members.

Instead, I believe Collins and Clary want to tilt the balance of the school board. In their bill a seventh seat would be added and Collins and Clary with the rest of our local state leaders would select the new member. What a power grab.

The voters just elected three new school board members, but Collins does not like how they are voting, so he is taking matter into his own hands filing this bill to add the seventh seat.

Remember Collins was the one who didn’t like the Republican officers that local delegates voted at the county convention, so he went to the state in protest there too.

Pickens County is conservative and values local control and elections. We don’t want the state picking our local officials. Collins says he is a Republican. If so, he should believe in the conservative principle of elections and local control.

In the Barnwell 19 school district only 50.8 percent of students read at grade level. In Marlboro that figure is 52.1 percent and Orangeburg 3 that figure is 52.4 percent. All three are accredited by AdvancED. And AdvancED is going to take away Pickens’ accreditation, one of the top 15 in the state? This is being overblown.

Weldon Clark


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