Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Warren said Tuesday he favors consolidating school districts in order to save administrative costs.
Warren, a 38-year-old former Marine infantryman from Greenville, said Greenville County has had success in cutting administrative costs by consolidating all of its school districts into one several years ago, and that other counties should follow suit.
However, when asked at a GOP meeting Tuesday in Spartanburg whether that county should consolidate its seven school districts, he said, “I’m not saying Spartanburg has to be part of it.”
Last year, three Republican state representatives introduced a bill that would have required all of the state’s 46 counties to each have only one school district by July 1, 2019. Spartanburg lawmakers opposed the consolidation proposal, saying each of the county's seven districts has its own identity.
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Fifteen counties across the state have multiple school districts.
Another effort afoot in Columbia would require the state’s smallest districts to consolidate.
Warren last month became the fifth Republican to announce his candidacy for governor, joining incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, Catherine Templeton and former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill.
The filing period begins Friday. The primary is June 12.
Warren said he would fight corruption in Columbia, impose term limits on politicians, and end no-bid contracts, requiring every state contract be awarded through competitive bidding. He also said he supports reforming the state tax code to lower taxes and eliminate special-interest tax breaks.