8 South Carolina districts initially ask $210M in merger aid

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Eight South Carolina school districts are asking for $210 million in state aid to consolidate into four districts.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports that’s four times what lawmakers allotted to induce small districts to merge on their own, as an alternative to possible forced consolidation.

State schools Superintendent Molly Spearman says the state encouraged applicants to dream big, but says “eyebrow-raisers” will be scratched from any aid.

The requests start negotiations between the districts and Spearman’s agency for part of up to $50 million.

The consolidating districts are guaranteed to split $12.5 million.

Four pairs of districts are applying for money: Bamberg 1 and Bamberg 2, Barnwell 19 and Barnwell 29, Clarendon 1 and Clarendon 3 and Hampton 1 and Hampton 2.

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