BY DIETTE COURRÉGÉ CASEY
Students in Hursey Elementary School’s Montessori program, as well as those on the waiting list, would have a spot at the school during the next two years under a proposal that will be considered tonight.
Charleston County School Superintendent Nancy McGinley plans to recommend to the county school board that up to four traditional classes of pre-kindergarten and special education students be moved to North Charleston Creative Arts School during the next wo years.
That would free up space for the existing Montessori classes as well as 62 student on the waiting. It would cost about $100,000.
The North Charleston school offers both traditional and Montessori classes. Although the school’s Neighborhood Planning Team recommended phasing out traditional classes and transitioning into a full Montessori school, the school community hasn’t been united behind that plan. The school board’s vote to transition the school into a full Montessori program failed 4-4, which means the school will continue as a dual track program.
Some community and board members will be opposed to McGinley’s recommendation.
“The majority of children who will be moved are minority children,” said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston NAACP. “Our kids continue to be moved, and ... that needs to stop.”
Scott questioned why current students would be moved instead of students on a waiting list, and she said some people have the attitude of “we want what we want and we won’t stop until we get it.” It appears as if something is being taken from minority children, and that wouldn’t happen in a predominantly white neighborhood, she said.
“It’s obvious that these minority kids are shifted from one place to another,” she said. “We continue to dance around this issue. Nobody really wants to talk about it.”
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