A letter from a little girl has changed the fate of a school in Dillon. J.V. Martin Jr. High School was spotlighted by President Barack Obama, after he got a letter from student Ty’Sheoma Bethea.
It is now getting rebuilt, says Education Superintendent Jim Rex, thanks to a federal loan and a grant totaling 24 million dollars.
“The loan, which is about 20 million, is going to be paid off by the citizens of Dillon County. They passed a referendum sometime back about a year and a half ago, but because of the difficult financial markets, it was difficult to get a financial institution to step up, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture finally did,” Rex said.
The school’s furniture has been outfitted by private donation. Construction on the new school will begin in the Spring.
Rex says that solves the problem for one school, while others still need help.
“There have been a whole bunch of providential events that have been happening in South Carolina that have contributed to trying to address this symbol and then hopefully using it as some impotence for addressing the larger problem, the larger dilemma, which is the unjust and unfair way we’ve been funding schools in South Carolina,” he said.