Charter school opening delayed; 400 students without a school

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Hundreds of kids are out of school and parents want to know why. On Monday, parents packed the Charleston County School Board meeting, wanting answers for the delay in the Lowcountry Leadership Charter School.

Parents said that more than 400 students have yet to attend the new charter school which was supposed to open its doors on Sept. 5.

"Lowcountry Leadership students are the only students in the state not in school right now," said parent April Kemp.

For parents like Kemp, the reasons for the delays haven't been entirely clear.

"As parents, we're still confused about did they say 'yes' and then they reneged or was there never actually a 'yes.' And if there was a 'no'--how did teachers and administration get a key to the building," askedKemp.

The issue revolves around a lease on the building. Because Lowcountry Leadership is a state-sponsored charter school -- the school has its own independent board.

"We are willing to do whatever will work best for the county and neighboring schools," said Mache Larkin, a school leader for the charter school.

Larkin says they are exploring other options. She says lease negotiations between CCSD and HighMark School Development have not been finalized.

A school district spokesperson says the CCSD board agreed to lease Schroder Middle School for up to 60 days to help with the process.

But as for an actual start date?

"I don't know it's going to depend on the lease negotiations," said Larkin.

It's an answer that doesn't sit well with parents like Kemp.

"We're midway through September and they don't have a place to go!. We're beyond the ten-day count," said Kemp.

Larkin says the delay has caused some parents to send their children to other schools.

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