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State needs to meet legal obligations

Posted: April 22, 2013 4:35 p.m.
Updated: April 24, 2013 5:00 a.m.

I was very interested in the issue raised by Camden City Council member Alfred Mae Drakeford at the recent (Kershaw County) Chamber (of Commerce) legislative forum. Ms. Drakeford correctly stated that the state of South Carolina is not providing the legally required level of funding for local governments. I would point out that our state is also falling well short in terms of its legal obligation for the funding of public schools.

Based on the budget approved by the South Carolina House, the Base Student Cost is almost $700 per student below what is required by law. In Kershaw County, this amounts to approximately $7 million less in state funding for schools than is legally mandated. $7 million in additional funding for our schools would allow the district to restore most of the reductions in teachers, programs, and services that have occurred over the past five years.

I hope our legislators will take aggressive steps to address our state’s failure to meet its legal obligations to local governments and school districts.   

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