School Consolidation Debate Continues As Third House Hearing Approaches

The debate continues about whether Orangeburg County's three school districts should become one. The South Carolina House of Representatives will soon hear the proposal for a third time.

That means they're just a few steps away from being legally allowed to close a school. A representative told attendees to the public opinion meeting that the law outlines strong language to stop them from closing schools. Three public hearings and a referendum of the area are necessary before consolidation can take place.

Opponents and supporters shared their concerns on Monday at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College. Some people fear higher taxes, job loss and the loss of students whose parents will pull them from the system if the consolidation happens.

Supporters say the proposal leaves room for improvement of school conditions, extra-curricular programs and better teaching practices.

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