Limestone Charter Association Board Votes To Accept 3 More Transfer Schools

Charles Wyatt

The Limestone Charter Association’s Board of Directors recently voted to accept three more transfer schools, bringing its current total to nine for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year.

The newest charter authorizer for the state of South Carolina, Limestone Charter Association previously voted in November of last year to accept six schools that applied for transfers. At its Board of Directors meeting held in Columbia on Thursday, Jan. 27, the LCA Board voted to accept an additional three schools that applied for transfers.

All nine transfer schools will be under the authorization of the Limestone Charter Association beginning on July 1, 2022.

The three latest schools approved for transfer to the LCA include East Link Academy Charter School in Greenville, Orangeburg High School for Health Professions, and The Palmetto School. Each of the respective school boards voted recently to leave their current authorizers and to apply for transfer acceptance by the Limestone Charter Association.

The mission of East Link Academy, which started in 2015, is to prepare students to be language and cultural links between the West and East in order to meet the global challenges of their lifetime, by providing a rigorous education in math, science, social studies and language arts in a bilingual English-Mandarin environment. The school is currently authorized by the South Carolina Public Charter School District.

Orangeburg High School for Health Professions, currently authorized by the Orangeburg Consolidated School District, was started in 2012 on the premise to educate students within the health career fields to meet the demands of the present workforce of Orangeburg County and to ensure that its students had the greatest competitive advantage on a local, state, national and global level.

Since 2004, the mission of The Palmetto School has been to be to provide individualized education in a safe and nurturing environment that promotes academic and personal growth as well as career and college readiness for at-risk youth who are facing adverse challenges. It is currently authorized by the Rock Hill Schools – York County School District 3.

Limestone Charter Association officials noted that financial audits of each school found no material weaknesses, no significant weaknesses, and no non-compliance material weaknesses in the financial statements. Each school is considered in good financial standing.

The six schools accepted in November of 2021 for transfer to the Limestone Charter Association included Charleston Advancement Academy High School (Charleston), Coastal Leadership Academy (Myrtle Beach), Gates School (North Charleston), Horse Creek Academy (Aiken), Legion Collegiate Academy (Rock Hill), and Oceanside Collegiate Academy (Mt. Pleasant). The Charleston Advancement Academy High School is currently authorized by the South Carolina Public Charter School District, while the other five are authorized by the Charter Institute at Erskine.

Limestone University President Dr. Darrell Parker, who serves on the Board of the LCA, noted after the recent meeting that newly-formed schools are also expected to apply for acceptance by the Limestone Charter Association in the near future. He added that discussions are ongoing regarding additional schools looking to transfer from their current authorizers.

There are currently only three ways a public charter school can exist in South Carolina, according to state law: It must be sponsored by a local school district, by the statewide South Carolina Public Charter School District, or by an institution of higher education. Because they are funded by taxpayers, the schools are public and must abide by the same rules as traditional public schools. For administrative purposes, the authorizers can receive up to two percent of each school’s state funding in South Carolina.

The Limestone Charter Association and the Charter Institute at Erskine are currently the only two institutions of higher learning permitted by the S.C. Department of Education to act as charter school authorizers.

Limestone University officially announced the formation of the Limestone Charter Association during the Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina’s Leadership Summit held in Columbia in July of 2021. The LCA sponsors independent, innovative charter schools across South Carolina.

The mission of the Limestone Charter Association is to serve as the cornerstone of charter school authorizing and to facilitate a positive, educational environment that fosters school autonomy through support and oversight to its member schools.

Like all public charter schools, each of the nine transferring to the LCA are innovative public schools created to close the opportunity gap and deliver an excellent education to every student.

Currently, there are 89 charter schools across South Carolina serving nearly 50,000 students.

The Limestone Charter Association office is based in Columbia at Limestone University’s Student Service Center located on Arbor Lake Drive inside the Fontaine Business Park.

For more information about the Limestone Charter Association, visit its website at