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School board weighing request for millage increase

Posted: May 10, 2011 7:48 p.m.
Updated: May 11, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The option of approaching Kershaw County Council for a millage increase is still in play for the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees.

The board continued discussion of whether to pursue a millage hike at its meeting last week. Under the caps placed on Act 388, Kershaw County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said the school district is eligible for a 4-mill increase. Whereas 1 mill would bring in an estimated increase of $105,000 for the school district, Morgan said an additional 4 mills could boost school district funding as much as $420,000. The funding would go toward reducing teacher furloughs and athletic coaching stipends.

“I think being specific about what you would use it for is important and critical as far as communicating to the public. And as I mentioned to you a few weeks back, my recommendation holds … any additional millage should go first and foremost to cut back on the furloughs,” Morgan said. “Secondly, if there’s any room, look at things like athletic coaching stipends and extracurricular stipends because we are getting into a critical situation long term in terms of attracting and retaining people who would love to do those activities.”

Agreeing with Morgan, School Board Chairman Joey Dorton said each furlough day for teachers, media specialists, guidance and instructional assistants totals $269,000. Each furlough day for administrators and support personnel is $57,000.

“So for each furlough day added back for everybody is $326,000. Of course, we only have at the max 4 mills, which is $420,000,” he said, “which would take care of only one furlough day for everybody.”

Also at last week’s meeting, Dorton requested more information on the cost of installing cubicles in the new district office. As a result, the board delayed a vote on the low bid of $58,255 from local contractor Billy Jackson Construction for constructing walls and making other adjustments to the new office.

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