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CCTC proposes education promise

Posted: December 1, 2011 6:11 p.m.
Updated: December 2, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Current Kershaw County high school freshmen may be able to attend Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC) for free once they graduate.

CCTC President Dr. Tim Hardee outlined a new scholarship program during Tuesday’s Kershaw County Board of School Trustees meeting and said he hoped to work with the Kershaw County School District (KCSD) to attract local students to the technical college.

The scholarship offer would be available to current ninth-grade Camden, Lugoff-Elgin and North Central high school students who, upon graduation, are interested in a two-year study at the college.

 “I think it would basically encourage students in the current ninth-grade classes at all three high schools as well as the parents, the school board and the college to, in my view, collaborate so that we would have a better prepared work force and create more accessibility to higher education,” he said.  

To qualify for the scholarship, the student must graduate on time in 2015 with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and test ready for college level coursework.

He added the tuition program can be implemented without financial support from the school district. The proposal also doesn’t require school board approval.

“The financial aspect would be the responsibility of the college. We’re not asking the school district to provide any money for that,” Hardee said. “Really what we’re asking the school district for is to provide us accessibility with those students because we would want to be able to test them to see if they would be eligible to come to us and take college-level classes.”

According to Hardee, the college would be able to afford the proposal via Pell grants and lottery funds.

“Is there a financial risk involved for the college? Certainly there this, but we tend to view it more as an investment than an expense,” Hardee said.       

School Board Chairman Joey Dorton said the program would provide an “incredible opportunity” for local students.

KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said he hoped to “roll this out” as soon as possible and spread the word about the program to students and parents.

“It’s certainly doable,” Morgan said. “This is all good. It makes it accessible to kids where before it may not have been accessible.”

Also Tuesday, Dr. Agnes Slayman, executive director for secondary education, presented the results of an athletic survey given to all middle and high school female students at county schools. The students were asked to select the sports they wish were available at their respective schools.

The survey was the result of concerns that the school district could be in violation of Title IX federal funding regulations.  

Among the top responses from middle school students were soccer, softball and competitive cheerleading. High school students also favored soccer in addition to choosing swimming and lacrosse.

KCSD Chief Financial Officer Donnie Wilson also provided an update to the school district’s financial outlook.

According to the report, the school district has spent $16.3 million year-to-date through Oct. 31 with a projected expenditure of $18.2 million.

“The good news is that at this point of time through Oct. 31, generally you would expect about 67 percent of your budget remaining, but we have 74.3 percent of our budget remaining. That’s a good thing,” Wilson said. “The bottom line is we’re still in very good shape in terms of our spending compared to our budget and our overall projection.”

Other school board business included:

• a presentation on Camden Elementary School by KCSD Director of Operations Billy Smith. Smith reviewed potential renovations and repairs to the school;

• unanimous approval of a request to rename an auditorium at the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC) in honor of Dr. Gil Woolard, who helped found the school in 1967. Dr. Charles Baxley, former chair of the school board, requested the renaming; 

• unanimous approval of a request to waive the rental facility fee for use of Stover Middle School for the Elgin Catfish Stomp;

• unanimous approval to update and formalize a tax dispute settlement with INVISTA;

• an information session about the recommended 2012-2013 school calendar; and

• executive session to discuss a personnel matter related to resignations, employment, transfers, leaves of absences, the INVISTA settlement and a proposed contractual arrangement.

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