Letter calls CCSD board's poor attendance a 'new low'

By Eric

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- No-shows and poor attendance caused Charleston County Superintendent Nancy McGinley to write a letter to the school board.

The issue was not with students but the board members themselves, and the workshops they're missing.

McGinley called out the board for what she said is poor attendance at monthly workshops. She showed her frustration by calling it 'new low' that less than half of the board came to the last workshop.

Some of the trustees, like Elizabeth Moffly, did not appreciate the letter.

"I think it was completely unnecessary," said Moffly. "It's one where we should have been engaged in a conversation."

Moffly says she's been to every workshop, though she was one of only three board members that made the last one, according to the letter McGinley sent to the board.

McGinley said the workshops have become ineffective. Because of the no-shows, the letter said McGinley apologized on the board's behalf to some of the district's teachers and students.

"She ended up bringing principals, teachers and students to do a skit," said Moffly. "There is never any time set aside for board members to actually do 'Q' and 'A' (at the workshops). It's like, if you have questions, you're now going to make this meeting go longer."

Moffly said the workshops had been useful and educational, but they are long and the agenda's should be shortened. Still, she was disappointed by the attendance.

Trustee Todd Garrett said he had no problem with McGinley's letter. He did not attend last week's workshop. At times, Garrett's career has made it hard for him to make regular meetings and the workshops.

"They've been very educational, but generally if you can send it to me to read, I'm going to read it as well," Garrett said.

Garrett agreed with McGinley, if board members can't take advantage of the sessions, he said it's a huge waste of tax dollars.

"Because of peoples' work schedules, there are board members who are retired but the rest of us work for living, and are trying to do our best," he said.

If the workshops are not held every month, board members will likely meet quarterly.

Wednesday afternoon the district issued a statement on the letter saying it's intent was to engage the board and better utilize time and resources.