Info need to know
Inspector General's Report released
Today, November 3, 2022, the State Inspector General Brian Lamkin released a report on his investigation of Richland School District Two. You may remember that back in June, we shared that the Governor had submitted a formal request to State Inspector General Brian Lamkin to conduct an investigation, review and analysis of Richland Two. In speaking with Mr. Lamkin at that time, we pledged our full cooperation with the investigation.
A response from Richland Two is included as part of the published report, which is now available on the S.C. Office State Inspector General's website.
The Richland Two School District (“District”) has reviewed the Inspector General’s (IG) Report. First, the District Administration would like to thank the IG for his thorough review. The District welcomes his Report as another dimension of our ongoing quest for excellence.
Notably, the IG Report highlights the District’s continued performance in delivering on our core mission: to provide quality public education to more than 112,837 students over the four-year review period. This fact is supported by the District’s student achievement metrics included in the Report, which compare favorably with South Carolina and national data (pp. 6-8).
The District agrees with the IG’s assertion that the Report is to serve as a road map for District leadership, and the Board of Trustees, to work together to deliver on the promise to prepare students to lead and excel in their chosen pathways to success.
The IG Report also demonstrates that the District is not immune to the pressures that are affecting public and private workplaces, in general, and education in particular – most notably: recruiting challenges, post-pandemic recovery issues, contentiousness and clashes of social values.
Equally noteworthy, the IG Report emphasizes areas where the District Office is understaffed and in need of additional resources.
Importantly, the Report’s findings do not assert intentional wrongdoing by the District. A District the size of Richland Two requires constant process evaluations and improvements, and the District intends to use the IG Report as part of our process to make such improvements. The Report found that the District has not consistently had formalized processes in place in all needed areas to ensure best practices. The District welcomes guidance from the Report on methods to continue codifying processes to ensure our District is in full compliance with state and federal law and regulations. Those improvements have begun and are ongoing and some have already been completed.
The District Administration is a team of professionals who have devoted their careers toward working for the betterment of our students, our staff and our community. The District will move quickly and decisively to continue to make needed process improvements.
In addition to the above statement, the district provided information for clarification purposes and as further documentation of no intentional wrongdoing by the District. Click here to read the district's complete response that includes this additional information.
Board of Trustees' response
We, the elected Members of the Richland Two School Board of Trustees, have reviewed the Inspector General’s report. The text of the report makes clear that Board Members must continue to improve in working together for the betterment of our District so the administration is consistently empowered to serve our students, staff and community with excellence and without distraction. Improving academics for kids is the reason each of us sought election to this Board, and we must immediately refocus on them – the students of this District.
The Board’s capability to lead is only as strong as our capacity to work through disagreements and find constructive solutions to the challenges facing education. This Board has not always hit that high standard. We commit to excellence moving forward.
It’s imperative that Board Members learn and grow as policymakers for this District. We will work civilly and transparently with each other, with District administration and with the public. While our visions for improving Richland Two differ, we will work together to find common ground and to ensure that students are always our chief priority.
Richland School District Two Board of Trustees
Office: 803-738-3222; Mobile: 803-360-1836