COLUMBIA - South Carolina schools chief Mick Zais says one of his top priorities is a bill he hopes will increase the number of charter schools statewide.
Zais advocated the measure Wednesday while surrounded by more than 20 charter school students.
It would force school districts to spend local property taxes on students in 11 charter schools who live in their area. Schools organized under the statewide charter district now get state and federal money but none from the district. Most of the students are enrolled in online schools.
District officials argue they can't afford to lose the money as they anticipate deep budget cuts from the state. But Zais argues charters are public schools, too. He says it's the students' money, not the districts'.