TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) — Florence School District Four will officially consolidate with Florence 1 Schools on Friday.
Students from Timmonsville High School and Johnson Middle School will attend Florence 1 Schools.
The Florence Four School Board filed a lawsuit in February over the consolidation, claiming South Carolina Superintendent Molly Spearman didn’t have the authority to shut down schools. As of Thursday, the lawsuit has still not been resolved, according to the South Carolina Public Index.
In a response to the lawsuit filed in April, the South Carolina Department of Education denied the board’s claims and said Spearman has acted within her powers. The state asked a judge for the lawsuit to be dismissed with prejudice.
In 2018, Spearman said the district was at “high risk,” citing financial issues, according to the lawsuit. The board claims those issues improved by 2020 and said a financial emergency no longer exists.
A community meeting hosted in March by Spearman resulted in many of the attendees walking out early. In March, students at Timmonsville High School walked out of class to protest the consolidation.
In January, the state recommended that Florence 1 Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley assume the role of Florence Four superintendent leading up to the consolidation.