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Decreased 2009-2010 Budget Print E-mail

Bamberg School District One Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Schwarting presented District One board members with a “balanced budget” of $13,652,316.56 for Second Reading approval at their May 25 meeting held in the Richard Carroll Elementary School Media Center.

The school district’s 2009- 10 fiscal year budget represents a nine percent decrease from last years’ budget of $15 million. Dr. Schwarting stated that the budget was balanced in part due to the resignation of one teacher, another teacher not returning next year and changing around different pots of money from which salaries are drawn.

She stated that looking at next year with more budget cuts in the forecast, the district will not have room to make any more cuts that do not involve personnel.

“We are at a position if we have any more cuts, we would have to cut positions,” Dr. Schwarting said. “We do not have anything else to cut, that we are aware of,” she said.

In highlighting some of the areas the district’s budget had been cut, it was noted: the General Fund Budget has been decreased 11- percent from last year to this year; Title One Funds have been decreased by eight-percent; Reading First received a 31 percent cut from $291,000 last year to $200,000 this year; Excellence In Middle School Funds, which are used to fund one School Resource Officer (SRO) position at BEMS was cut 24 percent; the money the district receives from the lottery was cut 14 percent to $119,800 for next year; retirees pay was cut 20-percent; and in what Dr. Schwarting described as “a real killer” for the last two years, Bamberg-Ehrhardt Middle School has received from $250,000 - $270,000 for technical assistance.

After being told to plan their budget around a figure of $200,000 next year, the district received notice last Thursday that the school would receive $60,000, which represents a 76 percent cut, and will impact three teaching positions.

It was also noted that the budget included $131,404.35 for special-needs programs and $8,386.44 for preschool. The district will only receive $175,336.67 in additional federal stimulus money through Title One unless Gov. Mark Sanford requests federal stimulus funds by change of mind or his ordered to do so by the courts.

Trustee Board Member Rita Sease stated that she would like to see the district not cut any more money for instructional supplies.

A public hearing and third reading on the budget is planned for 6:30 p.m. on June 22.

Also during the meeting:

The End of Course Test in English 1 and Algebra 1 were administered to 8th graders at BEMS with 96.5 percent passing the English Test and 100 percent passing the Algebra 1 Test. It was also noted that nine students made a perfect score on the Algebra 1 Test.

Eighth grade students at BEMS had the third best improvement in South Carolina on the National Assessment of Educational Program Test (NAEP, known as America’s Report Card).

BEHS English Teacher Megan Black was recognized for her effort in collecting $12,419 worth of books (1,100) from some of the more affluent districts in the state for BEMS and BEHS students.

BEMS student George McIntosh was recognized for winning a writing award for a paper he wrote on citizenship and Ryan Brooks won the State Superintendent of Education Writing Award.

The following school board members were recognized for receiving additional hours of training: Tony Duncan-29 hours; Gill Hackney-19 hours; and Rita Sease-38 hours.

District official Robbie Kearse participated in a Premium and Risk Reduction Seminar with the SC School Board Insurance Trust, which made the district eligible for a five percent credit in the district’s workman compensation policy for the 2009-10 school year.

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