Beaufort Co. School Board discusses failed bond referendum

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - The Beaufort County School Board is reviewing and revising a bond referendum, after the original measure failed on the ballot last November.

Even though the board hasn't voted to put the referendum on a ballot just yet, at Tuesday's discussion they learned the shortcomings of the last referendum and why people might vote for it this time around.

The previous referendum voted on in November was for $217 million to be repaid over a 10-year period.

"Most of the comments I heard were 10 years was just too long and didn't know exactly what the money was for, so the board is looking at something short term, five years in length," said Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Moss.

Even though everyone is not on board with the referendum, the district's growth isn't going to slow down but options are limited outside of the referendum.

"You have to be very aware of the programs and the needs that you need to put in place for the students that are coming in. When you have increases in certain populations you need to have programs, teachers in place for them to succeed," said Dr. Moss.

The district expects to gain 3,000 students in the next 10 years. At Bluffton Middle alone, the Hispanic population has doubled in the past five years.

Now, board members will review the concerns and suggestions expressed by these subgroups. They will then prepare another agenda to present at their next work session.

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