Limestone Charter Association, Est. 2021
Since 1845, Limestone University has a history of leading the way in education. That dedication to learning continues in 2021, with Limestone making the commitment to become a charter school authorizer in South Carolina. When Limestone was founded, it became the first women’s college in South Carolina and was one of the first in the nation. In the 1970s, Limestone created its innovative Block program for working adults who wanted to complete their degrees at night, and in the 1990s, Limestone once again led the charge for virtual education by being the first college in South Carolina to offer online classes and degree programs. With its long history and dedication to learning, it is no surprise that Limestone has made the decision to become one of the first institutions of higher education to become an authorizer. The University has created a separate entity, the Limestone Charter Association, but will be an integral part of the Association.
"The mission of the Limestone Charter Association is to serve as the cornerstone of charter school authorizing in South Carolina and to facilitate a positive, educational environment that fosters school autonomy through support and oversight to its member schools."
School autonomy is at the highest level of priority. Charter school boards must always be given the authority to govern their schools without interference.
An authorizer’s role is to provide the schools with the appropriate level of oversight to ensure adherence to laws to which the schools are not exempt and will not force schools to bear the burden of those laws which may be easiest for the authorizer, but the school has an exemption.
Communication with each school is essential in order to provide school-desired support through mentoring, training, and experience.
Collaboration between LCA and the schools is paramount in creating a performance framework that is fair, considers the population and the demographics of the school, allows the schools corrective measures without retaliation or threats of closure, and identifies gaps in resources where LCA could assist the school.
The best personnel to employ as an authorizer are those who have done the work, been in the trenches, and understand the day-to-day activities of a charter school that operates with or without a management company.
Only authorize those schools LCA feels will be high quality schools by ensuring that LCA provides appropriate guidance prior to and after approval.
Each charter school is unique and will be treated accordingly
LCA will build relationships with schools that foster the care of the school, which will in turn benefit all students. An authorizer’s role is always to support and monitor the school. It is the school’s role to teach the children and make decisions on what is best for its students.
Limestone Charter Association
Fontaine Business Park
400 Arbor Lake Drive, Suite 800A
Columbia, SC 29223