Finally, some welcome news is coming out of the Beaufort County School District. For the past year, certain members of the community have been calling for an external audit of the district’s finances, including past construction projects.
The good news is we’re apparently getting an investigation of the construction costs of two schools that totaled about $100 million. This comes at no cost, courtesy of the FBI. Obviously, it would have gone a long way to restoring trust if the district had initiated it on its own, but at this point, we’ll take anything we can get.
Recently, the U.S. Attorney’s office subpoenaed three employees of the district pertaining to the construction of River Ridge Academy and May River High. In keeping with their lack of transparency, the district did its best to hide the fact the subpoenas existed. Their attempt at a cover-up failed. Now they are trying to keep the contents of the subpoenas from public view by refusing FOIA requests.
It is not in the best interest of the public to authorize the district to borrow another $76 million in the April referendum. This will increase the projected debt load by 11 percent, to a staggering repayment total of $1.3 billion. Today’s students will still be paying for that debt 25 years from now.
Any request for more money should be met with a resounding “no” until we know the results of the FBI probe.
Hilton Head Island
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