School board seats are up for grabs

in Election 2016 by

By Sally Mahan

Trust. It seems to be the word that defines the 2016 general election from the local level to the national level.

Locally, that word particularly applies to the Beaufort County School District board of education.

The district has been plagued by scandal over the last several months, with charges of nepotism and ethics violations against the superintendent, Jeff Moss, along with tense relations among school board members.

In the midst of those issues, the school district is asking voters to OK a referendum on the November ballot calling for a 1 percent sales tax increase to raise about $217 million over 10 years to fund new schools and
to upgrade buildings.

Additionally, there are three school board seats up for grabs representing districts in northern Beaufort, Sun City/Okatie/Pritchardville, and portions of Bluffton. A fourth seat representing Hilton Head will also be on the ballot, but it is an uncontested seat that will be filled by JoAnn Orischak.

All school board members are non-partisan, that is, they don’t run as Republicans or Democrats.

The 11 school board members serve for four years and meet twice a month. They earn $7,500 a year, with the board chair earning an additional $1,000.

The candidates, the issues

For an in-depth look at the candidates for the three seats on the Beaufort County School District board of education and where they stand on the issues, visit