Board of Education declares state of emergency for 2 Florence District 4 schools

Board of Education declares state of emergency for 2 Florence District 4 schools

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) -  Following a request from South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, the S.C. State Board of Education declared a state of emergency in Brockington Elementary School and Johnson Middle School in Florence School District Four, according to a press release.

The decision was announced Tuesday afternoon.

"Two of the schools in Florence School District Four are not meeting our state's high expectations of academic achievement," said Spearman. "The state board reviewed the situation and determined that a state of emergency should be declared under the Education Accountability Act.  The full board voted unanimously.

In the release, Mike Brenan, chairman of the S.C. State Board of Education, said the board supports the superintendent's decision.

"It is in the best interests of students and teachers that we change direction and help Florence Four and the community move forward," said Brenan.

Upon the state board's declaring a state of emergency, Superintendent Spearman can continue technical assistance to the schools, remove the principals and assume management of the schools, the release stated.

"We are in discussions with the Florence Four Board of Trustees about the best courses of action," said Spearman.  "Any changes will occur with notice to the schools and community over the coming weeks.  Meanwhile, the schools continue to be open for business, and we want everyone focused on providing the best education possible to these students."

Still under consideration are issues related to the district's accreditation and financial risk status.

Joseph Brown, football coach at Timmonsville High School, said both schools have been under fire for some time now.

"You know, it's people talking and we are ready for it to be over," he said.

Brown added he wants the school board to help keep the schools open.

"You got everybody in anticipation. If they are going to close the school, then what is the next step? We are trying to better the kids not just in the school but in the community," he said.

Just a day after losing accreditation in February, Nikia Baker, a parent of two kids at Brockington Elementary, said if the situation is not as good as it could be, then find a solution.

"They can't shut it down. These kids have no other place to go. This is their school. Work with the state, work with the parents, work with whoever they need to work with to do what they need to do," she said.

The Florence School District Four Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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