by Paul Bowers
The Charleston County Republican Party is putting a plan to abolish the Charleston County School District on hold, according to outgoing Chairman John Steinberger.
The party was scheduled to vote on the resolution, which would call for the deconsolidation of the school district into three to five autonomous districts, at its meeting Monday night in North Charleston's City Council chambers. Steinberger says the party postponed the meeting due to the Walter Scott protests taking place in front of the building.
The meeting has been rescheduled for next Monday, and Steinberger says he expects party member Elizabeth Moffly will withdraw her resolution at that time.
"It's our first meeting for our new chair, Larry Kobrovsky, and we don't want to start him off with something real controversial like that," Steinberger says. "It'll probably be re-introduced later on."
Steinberger says the party will hold town hall meetings to seek public comments when the resolution is brought up again. "We'll welcome input form people outside of the Republican Party. We want to hear what the community thinks," Steinberger says.
The resolution, which would ask state legislators to break up the district, was originally touted as both a cost-saving measure and a means of decentralizing leadership in one of the state's largest school districts. Some state leaders, including Democratic Sen. Marlon Kimpson, have expressed skepticism about those claims.
Moffly says she fully intends to re-introduce the resolution at a later date.
"My plan moving forward is to start meeting with some of our delegation and get them thinking about it," Moffly says. "They've got a lot on their plate right now," she adds, referring to high-profile Statehouse debates about domestic violence, gun control, and ethics reform.
"I really do feel it's a nonpartisan issue, and I do have Democratic support on the idea," Moffly says.
Kobrovsky, a former school board member, is no stranger to controversy. He is currently representing a Hispanic former teacher and the parent of a white student who are suing the school district claiming that the principal at Baptist Hill Middle-High School failed to discipline black students for using racial slurs. Moffly also served some time on the school board and was openly critical of district leadership.