Federal representatives to hear parents

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On Monday, Oct. 17, a public meeting will be held to voice concerns from local parents and citizens. Expect representatives of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to be in attendance.
The Office of Civic Rights (ORC) must approve local board decisions that involve school closings or student reassignments that might affect the demographic makeup of school populations as part of a 40-year-old voluntary desegregation agreement between the school district and the federal government. For example, the ORC needs to approve the board’s August 5 decision to close Shell Point Elementary School before those actions can take place.
Monday’s meeting will be held at the Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence located at 80 Lowcountry Drive, near Ridgeland just off Highway 170, 6 p.m. School Board Chairman Fred Washington Jr. will introduce two OCR representatives who will give an overview of the district’s voluntary desegregation agreement, describe OCR’s duties and responsibilities relating to that agreement and the school board’s recent decisions.  The two OCR representatives will then listen to any comments from parents or citizens about recent board decisions, although it is said that they will not answer specific questions about those decisions.

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