- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The state of South Carolina is taking over a third local school district.

The state education department said in a news release Wednesday that Superintendent Molly Spearman has declared a state of emergency for Florence District Four because of financial problems.

The department said the Timmonsville-based school district has lost nearly a third of its students in the past 10 years.

Spearman says there are only about 600 students in the three schools in the district. She said the district’s finances are in “dire shape” and require immediate action.

The emergency declaration removes the district’s school board, and allows Spearman to work with nearby school districts and private companies for services.

The state took over Allendale County schools last year. It took over Williamsburg County schools last month.

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