After the last wave of state budget cuts cost teacher jobs and grew the size of some classrooms, financial help would be appreciated by any South Carolina schools.
Spartanburg Charter School is vying for half a million dollars through a competition on the Facebook internet social network. Anyone can vote for the school online, but only until 12:59 a.m. Saturday. The Spartanburg school was ranked 20th in the nation and is the only South Carolina school in the top 100.
It’s sponsored by Kohl’s department stores. Facebook users can connect to The Kohl’s Cares for Kids contest. Information is also available on the education department’s website. The school has already received more than 112,000 votes.
Clay Eaton, director of special programs for the South Carolina Public Charter School District, says charter schools in South Carolina are in a statewide charter school district and it receives the least funding of all charter schools in the nation.
In this state we don’t have “backpacking” where the money follows the child. We don’t do that here meaning that when a child goes to a charter school the funding stays in the district that child came from.
Eaton says Spartanburg Charter School survives on per-student funding which is one third of the state average and one fourth of the national average.
Eaton says Spartanburg Charter is competing largely against private schools and is one of only 20 public schools in the competition.
Eaton says a group of Spartanburg County parents took an old school building that was built in the 1930s and refurbished it using much of their own money to open a public charter school in 2009.
Spartanburg Charter School currently serves 300 students and would use the prize money to renovate the second floor of the school to add more grades for next year.