Legislation to repeal controversial changes to school board election districts in Colleton County has failed to make it through the General Assembly.
Sen. Clementa Pinckney, D-Ridgeland, this week blocked the last of three bills filed in an attempt to avoid the implementation of legislation he sponsored to move two school board members into other election districts.
Colleton residents and school board members have raised concerns about Pinckney's intentions with the bill, saying they fear the legislation was political payback against school board members who voted to dismiss Superintendent Leila Williams.
They were hoping for passage of a bill filed by Rep. Kenneth Hodges, D-Green Pond, that would have redrawn Colleton County's Board of Education election districts without impacting any school board members.
But Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Charleston, said an objection from Pinckney prevented the bill from coming to a vote. Campsen also sponsored two bills that would have either repealed Pinckney's measure or redrawn school board election districts without moving any school board members. Those also failed to pass.
Colleton School Board member William Bowman Jr., who is among those facing a move to a new district, said the school board has asked for an opinion from the state attorney general on how to proceed with implementing Pinckney's plan, which was signed into law May 16. It's unclear at this point whether the school district will have to hold special elections in November.
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