This week the Greenville County School Board voted on a request from the Greenville Tech Charter High School to end their charter, allowing them to move their charter to the SC Charter School District. I am very proud of the relationship that GCS and GTCHS has developed over the years, and see this as a mutually beneficial change. I have provided answers to some of the questions that have been posed to me. As always, please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Why did the Greenville County School Board vote to end GTCHS’s charter?
Dr. Bob Nash, chair of the GTCHS board, sent us a letter requesting that we allow them to exit their contract with us, freeing them up to transferring their charter to the SC Charter School District.
How does this financially benefit GTCHS?
In the letter sent to us, and in follow-up conversations I had with GTCHS staff and board members, I understand there is a financial benefit for GTCHS to be underneath the SC Charter School District. This is because Charter Schools receive per pupil allocations equivalent to what the sponsoring district spends per pupil. Compared to other districts, GCS spends less per pupil due to the economy of scale realized through its size and the conservative manner in which it has developed and deployed its resources.because their per pupil reimbursement rate is greater than what SC law requires the Greenville School District to provide. But, I would defer to GTCHS staff and board to answer specific benefits.
How does this financially impact Greenville County Schools?
A percentage of the funds passed on to a charter school are local funds, raised by our local tax base. Based on early estimates, we project the transition of GTCHS to the SC Charter School District will to create a balance net increase to the GCS budget of between $1-$1.4 million in locally raised funds that can be spent on our other local school operations.
Will this impact the relationship between Greenville Technical College and the school district? No. Supt Royster and Greenville Tech President Keith Miller have met a few times to discuss this transition. Supt. Royster expressed his confidence that this transition will not impact dual-credit learners and other School District/GTC partnerships or the excellent working relationship between GTCHS and GCS.
What is in store for GTCHS that makes this move necessary?
According to their correspondence with us, GTCHS intends to relocate some of their high school services to a site off of the Greenville Tech campus, and this extra per pupil revenue would help to contribute to these facility expansions.
How does a transition to the SC Charter School District impact students? State law requires that students who do not attend Greenville County Public Schools be provided the same opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities as those in our high schools. As with home school, and private school students, those athletic and enrichment opportunities would will continue to be made available to GTCHS students
Was anything done to help convince them to stay within the Greenville School District? Again, their desire to change seems to be primarily financial, and the move actually benefits the GTCHS students and our school district financially, so I would see the move as a true win-win. I will continue to work with the new staff and board at GTCHS to explore ways we can continue to collaborate.
Are there any repercussions because GTCHS is ending their contract early? No, there was a clause that allowed state charter law allows either party to terminate the agreement without penalty.