Responding to McMaster, Horry County school board chairman says he wants to follow disease experts

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The chairperson of the Horry County Board of Education says he wants to follow DHEC’s guidance on a re-opening plan for schools.

“Speaking for myself, and not on behalf of the board, I believe it is important to use our state’s disease experts to guide our decision-making for when and how we return our students and employees to schools,” said Ken Richardson, chairperson. 

Gov. McMaster on Wednesday called on all public school districts to submit reopening plans and to consider Sept. 8 as the starting date. He said parents must have a choice between whether they want to send their children to the classroom or whether they want them to stay at home for virtual learning.

The Horry County school board on Monday was briefed on a system developed by DHEC for determining the spread of COVID-19 in each county. “I intend to recommend to our board that we continue to follow DHEC’s guidance when we meet on August 3rd to vote on the district’s re-opening plan.”

The board moved the school start date from Aug. 17 to the day after Labor Day. Richardson said the move buys HCS more time to gather data and hopefully see the spread of the virus slow down dramatically.

South Carolina teachers group SC for Ed said sources have told them McMaster has tried to get large SC districts to support him in his push to reopen schools. “We are grateful to those districts which have declined to participate in an action that endangers students and staff, and support the ability of elected school districts and their employees and constituents to make these decisions,” the group posted on social media. 

Richardson had no comment when asked if McMaster tried to get Horry County on board with his plan.

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