12,659 Non English Speaking Students Attend Horry County Schools

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David Hucks
David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

Following up on our recent articles, concerning Horry County Illegal Immigration, a response to a FOIA request sent to Horry County Schools shows a current total of 12,659 foreign speaking students in the Horry County school system. Those numbers are certain to grow.

Of those numbers, 4417 speak little or no English. 8,242 speak English as a second language.

Said David Cox, Horry County School Board President, “That’s 25% of our student population.”

1.  The number of non-English speaking students attending Horry County Schools.   We have 4417 students who have not yet met the state’s criteria for exiting the ESOL program.  These students receive direct ESOL services.

2.  The number of students speaking English as a second language.   As of today, we have 8242.  Horry County Schools has students who speak multiple languages.  Our program is called English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) because often, English is not a student’s second language.  This total (8242) includes students who are directly served, monitored, and those who have screened out of the program due to being proficient in English.

Lisa H. Bourcier

Director of Strategic Communications & Community Engagement


Horry County Schools Immigrant Numbers


This issue relates to Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce C.E.O.’s support of a local NGO which first brings, and then transitions immigrants into Horry County. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber is funded annually by $54 million in tax subsidies.

Karen Riordan, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Karen Riordan, C.E.O. Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

When the news of the NGOs were first reported as,  The Lutheran Services Carolinas will be bringing the New American Program, President and CEO for MBACC Karen Riordan said an upcoming meeting with the business community will focus on job opportunities and bringing the community together. She also promised to use her influence to assist the new immigrants in finding housing.

One of the things we do well is bring the business community together with this need. That’s why we said we would be happy to host having employers coming in and learn about the program,” said Riordan. “So that, when the families do arrive, they’re going to need food, they are going to need housing, they are going to clothing, they’re going to need jobs.



While the parents of these foreign speaking students are cheap labor for local developers and those in the hospitality industry, the costs run high for local taxpayers to educate foreign speaking students in learning English between the ages of 6 and 17. The disruptive costs in the system for educating immigrants are an overwhelming tax burden for local residents.

These unplanned costs will eventually lead to tax increases for local homeowners.

None of these additional foreign speaking students’ expenses are paid for by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Lutheran Christian Services, or the New American Program.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Lutheran Christian Services, the New American Program, and other illegal immigration NGOs, are all being funded with tax grants, financial gifts from benefactors, and subsidies.

Legislative members from the upstate have reached out to MyrtleBeachSC News about concerns on how the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber is being funded. They are also concerned with how MBACC converts tax dollars into private dollars by selling the tax gift to local businesses in return for being seen on the VisitMyrtleBeach.com website.

It costs an area hotel $22,000 minimum to be featured on the Chamber’s tourist website which is funded with $54 million in tax subsidies to promote the area. In short, MBACC is converting those tax gifts into additional private dollars by selling the right to get premium placement on the MBACC website.

The tax gifts must be spent on “out of area marketing.” Once converted to private dollars, those new funds can be spent however MBACC wishes to spend them.

READ MORE: With almost 30,000 illegal immigrants now moving in, BUILD TO RENT homes are fastest growing segment of home builds in Horry County.


The most vocal members against S.C. Chambers of Commerce are the S.C. Freedom Caucus.

During the 2024 June Primaries, each of these candidates are being primaried by candidates run largely by S.C. House Republican Political Consultant Walter Whetsell. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber previously paid Whetsell’s firm directly in tax subsidy dollars.

Whetsell also represents Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune, Rep. Val Guest, Rep. Carla Schuessler, Nikki Haley and and many other MBACC/Grand Strand Business Alliance preferred candidates. The Grand Strand Business Alliance is a PAC (political action committee) supported by MBACC.

Walter Whetsell
Walter Whetsell – received $25,000 in MBACC tax subsidy monies

In previous articles, we have shown how we tracked the immigrants from the United States border into Horry County and across the interior of America.

RELATED: U.S Congressman RUSSELL FRY works to find answers

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