Some families move to Summerville just so their children can attend Dorchester District 2 public schools, which are often recognized for excellence.
But the people who run the district appear to be slow learners, at least in civics.
Why else would the Dorchester District 2 school board flout the state’s Freedom of Information Act and then try to defend its actions?
On Monday, the board discussed Superintendent Joe Pye’s evaluation, although it wasn’t on the agenda as required by law.
It had the discussion in private, although the law requires it be done in public.
And while in executive session, it apparently took a vote on his evaluation, although the law requires all votes to be taken in public.
Board chair Gail Hughes blamed the situation on the terms of Mr. Pye’s contract, which she says calls for his evaluation to be done in private. She says the process is being evaluated and she expects it to be changed.
That’s not good enough. The contract was written in 2002 and has been extended over the years. The district should have known that the Freedom of Information Act has long required evaluations to be done publicly. Since then, there has been ample time for the contract to be adjusted.
And it would be disingenuous for district officials to suggest they were unaware that the Freedom of Information Act applies to the superintendent’s evaluations.
Unless they don’t read the newspaper or follow the news, they must have been aware of what happened in nearby Berkeley County’s school district: It spent $73,000 and four years fighting, and ultimately losing, a battle to withhold from the public evaluations of then-superintendent Chester Floyd.
Ms. Hughes told The Post and Courier that she has concerns about Mr. Pye’s contract and the lack of paperwork detailing adjustments to his salary or terms of employment.
The best way to address such concerns would be in the sunshine where people can be given sufficient information to hold the board and the school administration accountable. The public should know how well the superintendent does his job. It should not be shut out because of a flawed 2002 contract.
And the Dorchester School District 2 board should not be excused from the law.
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