Campaign starts for Berkeley, DD2 schools improvement vote

      By Stefanie

      MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - It's campaign kickoff time for people hoping to get Berkeley and Dorchester District 2 schools improved and renovated.

      Tuesday marks the start of public campaigns for support of the passage of school improvements referendums in both Berkeley and Dorchester counties.

      Leaders of the volunteer committee called, 'Yes 4 Schools,' are hosting a public campaign and say the goal is to help solve the schools overcrowding problem.

      "When those class sizes climb to 30 or more students, the one-on-one, the individual attention starts to go away and that has a tremendous, negative impact on our students," said Berkeley County teacher, Michael Petry.

      'Yes 4 schools' leaders say the issues of unsafe schools, use of trailers, the need for better teachers, and the lack of high tech learning are all reasons to get on board with the referendum that hopes to change all that.

      "We'll be able to get to small class sizes. We'll be able to improve high tech learning opportunities for our oldest children, getting them career and college ready," Petry said.

      Berkeley County voters will cast their ballot on a $198 million dollar bond. If it passes that would mean an increase in property tax for the construction of five new schools and the renovation of 29 others.

      Back in August, the Dorchester County School Board approved a $179 million dollar school improvement referendum that will be on the ballot. This money will go to four new schools and to renovate 10 others.

      'Yes 4 schools' leaders say the increase in property taxes will cost as much as one tank of gas per taxpayer to cover the referendum costs.

      Meetings will be held Tuesday afternoon to kick off the school improvement campaigns.

      A meeting will be held for Dorchester District 2 at 2:30 p.m. at Rollings Middle School of the Arts.

      For Berkeley County, a meeting will start at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Stratford High School.