Hampton District Two recieves $1 million grant

Estill District Two Superintendent Martin Wright, along with members of the District Two School Board, recently announced to an audience of more than 50 individuals the district’s recent acquisition of a $1,000,000 facilities improvement grant which stems from a longstanding legal deliberation known as the Abbeville case.

In the Abbeville vs. The State of South Carolina court case, the plaintiff districts claimed that South Carolina’s education system was underfunded, resulting in a violation of the state’s constitution education clause and that to the extent the defendant distributed funds without regard for school district wealth under the Education Improvement Act. Furthermore, the suit claimed the system violated the state and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

Subcommittees were formed in response to the ruling by the South Carolina Supreme court to include a group on Transportation and Facilities Infrastructure. Upon the recommendation of the Transportation and Facilities Infrastructure group, the state funded a study by the South Carolina Department of Education on school facilities in each of the plaintiff districts to analyze the needs, costs, and funding options to construct or renovate schools in the plaintiff districts to provide adequate and safe space, and modernized equipment providing students with excellent academic and vocational learning opportunities.

 In addition, the South Carolina General Assembly initiated provisos 1A.50 and 1A.82 of the fiscal year 2017-2018 Appropriations Act and had made available $55.8 million dollars to fund school facility upgrades for any school district that is a plaintiff in the Abbeville lawsuit or districts with a poverty index of 80 percent or higher. A total of 48 school districts are eligible for funding.

“As superintendent of education of Hampton County School District 2, I am elated to announce that we submitted our application to the State Board of Education and as of Oct. 10 we were awarded a million dollars for facilities upgrade to our most needed school facility- Estill Elementary School,” Wright said. “Our priority project will deal with upgrades to health and safety. More specifically, we will tackle air quality, roofing and seal basement access.

“While we have a variety of facility needs and upgrades at the elementary school that the awarded one million dollars alone cannot resolve, it will help us to provide a better learning environment for our elementary students, faculty, and staff.

“In closing, this has been a long-standing priority for the leadership team of Hampton County School District 2, as well as our world-class Board of Education. Together, we will be crafting a five-year facility plan for the district to include the construction of a new elementary STEM-focused instructional facility.”