Parents and Grandparents, Business and Civic Leaders Unite to form Charleston Coalition for Kids.

Group calls for real, transformative change for Charleston County Schools

Charleston, SC – Today, dozens of Charleston County parents, grandparents, business and civic leaders officially announced the formation of Charleston Coalition for Kids.

The group’s executive director, Josh Bell, said the group’s mission includes improving the makeup of the current School Board.

“Charleston Coalition for Kids is on a mission to help improve our local schools and give every child in the county an equal opportunity to a first-class education, no matter where they live. We will educate the public about the School Board and help recruit, elect and support qualified board members. We need to enact real, transformative change in the Charleston County School District to improve the standard of education for all students,” Bell said.

Among the 75 Founding Members is former Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. “I have joined the Coalition For Kids to work together to elect members to our School Board who are committed to improving the quality of education for all of our children, and to hold our School Board members accountable,” said Riley.

Donecia Summers, a Charleston RISE parent advocate, shared “It matters to me because I’m a parent, and I have been to school board meetings. There needs to be a change.”

“What we need is urgent change – leaders who are capable and qualified to provide our students the opportunities they deserve,” said Patrick Bryant, an entrepreneur and past chair of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Bell, a former teacher and Executive Director of Teach For America in South Carolina, said the School Board should be made up of individuals who share the belief that there is an urgent need to improve our schools.

“We recognize that meaningful change is not possible unless we start at the top, focused on the board members responsible for school outcomes. We plan to identify and elect board members who understand the responsibility they have, and who are equally urgent about the need to improve our schools.  The Charleston County School Board manages the largest public budget in our region, and most community members have no idea who serves.  These leaders spend an annual budget of more than $900 million, hold the Superintendent accountable, and make decisions which directly impact the futures of our 50,000 students,” Bell added.

Bell said that the Coalition will spend the early Summer evaluating candidates for School Board and announce their endorsements around the time school convenes in August.

To join the Charleston Coalition For Kids, sign up on the website at

The Coalition released this video today with personal testimonials from several of the group’s founding members:

The Coalition’s website address is: and can be found on Facebook at

A full list of founding members is attached. The Coalition is a nonprofit classified as a 501c4, and will advocate for candidates they endorse in this Fall’s election.


SCBIZtv is part of the SC Biz News family, serving 100,000 high-level business execs throughout South Carolina. Click for more from SCBIZtv.