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      Zais wants failing schools in separate district

      Zais

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina schools Superintendent Mick Zais wants to create a new, statewide district for failing schools.

      Zais told the State Board of Education that South Carolina's current options for helping those schools have either proven unsuccessful or are ineffective.

      The comments came before the board decided the fate of seven schools that consistently perform in the bottom tier of state rankings. Their options were providing more training, replacing the school's principal or taking it over.

      The board voted to approve each school's improvement plans and continue to provide assistance.

      The state has not seized control of a school since 1999, when the agency took over rural Allendale County's schools.

      Zais advocates creating a turnaround district that removes the schools from local control. It requires that legislators change the law.

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