COLUMBIA, S.C. — The school system is closing nearly a dozen high schools in South Carolina after failing to make enough money to pay for them, raising questions about the future of the state’s most populous and affluent county.
The state Board of Education announced the closures Friday, saying it had lost money on about $2.6 billion in state contracts, including $500 million in federal funding that had been set aside to address the crisis.
More than a third of the schools have been closed since May, according to state records, and about 300 students have been sent to other schools.
The closure has forced some students to transfer to other counties or to go to private school, which typically costs hundreds of dollars more.
In addition to the closures, South Carolina schools are being forced to close because of an influx of students, and some districts are also being forced into bankruptcy.
In June, Gov.
Nikki Haley proposed a plan to address student and family financial hardship in the state.
It included offering $25,000 to any parent who could prove their child’s high school graduation was in the top three percent in the country, and providing scholarships to the state and private schools that enroll at least 100 students.
The plan was opposed by some lawmakers who argued that families were already struggling, and it would be a massive investment for the state in new education dollars that would be used for new buildings and equipment.
In June the governor proposed a $50,000 scholarship for families of first-time graduating students to attend public schools.
That plan was also opposed by lawmakers who worried that it would cost too much and was not a good use of taxpayer money.
The plan now appears to have been scaled back.
South Carolina’s public schools, some of which are run by private entities, were built under a system that is run by the state through contracts with local school districts.
The system is run through a separate, state-run agency, which was established to manage school districts, schools and local government.
The new administration also plans to hire a new superintendent, but a new leader will likely have little direct oversight over the state-owned system.
A spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Education said the state would not release the names of the remaining schools that were closed.
The spokeswoman said the department would provide information on the schools that had reopened after the school closures.
The spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The closures were first reported by the Charlotte Observer newspaper.
“The state has to cut its losses,” said State Representative Mark Norris, a Republican from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.
“We have a great public school system.
It’s not sustainable.”
The governor has said that about $1.8 billion was spent on the state system, but that figure does not include any state-financed costs.
Haley has said she would increase funding for school districts by $1 billion in the next two years, but has not committed to increasing funding to help the state meet its budget.
The state has $2 billion in debt and is on pace to run out of money next year, and has proposed a tax increase of about 1.6 percent in January to pay down state debt.
The school closures have forced parents to take time off work to care for their children and families.
They have also created an emotional burden for some families who were forced to give up jobs to care with their children.
Some families say they cannot afford to pay bills that can’t be paid by the government, and that they have to find other work to cover their bills.
Last week, a state judge in North Carolina ordered that a former teacher who was fired for having a romantic relationship with a student’s teacher be allowed to return to work in a different county, after he had been fired from the school system for having an extramarital relationship.
The teacher, Christopher Wilson, had been accused of having a sexual relationship with the student’s friend, and had allegedly forced her to have sex with him.
Wilson was fired by the school district in March after the woman came forward.
The judge in the case has not said whether he will order the teacher to be reinstated.