S.C. Dept. of Education taking over failing Allendale County schools, appoint new District Superintendent

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) – South Carolina State Schools Superintendent declared Allendale County schools under a State of Emergency.

The decision comes weeks after Molly Spearman met with the community to address the failing schools.

One of the biggest issues the Superintendent Molly Spearman says she had with Allendale County schools was that there was no plan in place to improve.

After years of instability she decided it was time to take over.

Allendale County schools are entering a new era under the leadership of the South Carolina Department of Education.

Spearman says she couldn’t just sit back and watch students get left behind, because of poor decision-making by school leaders.

“It seems that education has been about serving the adults and their interest, rather than the needs of the students.” Spearman said.

Allendale receives $17,000 dollars per student, the highest in South Carolina.

Despite the extra funding and 3 additional full-time Transformation Coaches, the district has failed to produce results.

Prompting Spearman to declare the school district under a state of emergency, allowing the state to take control.

“To help lead our efforts in Allendale I have appointed Dr. Walter Tobin Sr., an experienced and well-respected District Administrator to serve as District Superintendent, effective immediately.” Spearman said.

However, this isn’t the first time Allendale schools have been run out of Columbia due to historically low performances.

Spearman says this time it’s different, because of the districts risky financial decisions that would put the rest of the state in jeopardy of losing federal education grants.

With the appointment of a new District Superintendent, Spearman is hoping to put an end to the constant change in leadership and bring some stability to Allendale.

The state is hopeful the changes will improve standardized test performances and what’s expected of students in the classroom.

“I want to see student academic growth, I want to see students’, particularly at the high school level, I want to see students doing better on their End of Course test,”  said Spearman. “That should match up with the graduation rate. Right now the graduation rate is much higher.”

There’s no word on how long the state is going to be in control of Allendale County schools.

Spearman says she will be hosting monthly community meetings to update parents.

She also announced the district will also undergo an audit.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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