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KCSD to ask KCC for millage increase again

Posted: October 7, 2010 10:05 p.m.
Updated: October 8, 2010 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) will ask Kershaw County Council (KCC) to reconsider a request for a millage increase.

KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan told school board members Tuesday evening the request will be placed on council’s next meeting agenda. Two weeks ago, a motion to approve the increase made by KCC Vice Chairman Sammie Tucker Jr. failed to be seconded. KCSD officials maintain that could cost the district as much as $170,000, prompting School Board Chairman Joey Dorton to formally request that the motion be placed back in front of council members.

“Imagine that a million-dollar industry decided to locate (in) Kershaw County. They had 1,500 employees, a $48 million payroll, and most of their employees on that payroll would spend in this county,” said Dorton. “They were going to help secure $6 million in grants to help our youth and they would never leave. All they’re asking for is a FILOT (fee-in-lieu-of-taxes) agreement resulting in a $172,000 tax credit for their corporation.

“How fast do you think that dotted line would be signed?”

Dorton repeated what officials have said all along: that the school district is not asking for an increase in spending, but only the same per pupil allocation as last year.

The only difference, he said, was that the school district now has an additional 57 students.

After the board meeting, Morgan said the school district shouldn’t be looked at only as an investment for education, but also as one of the largest employers in the community.

“With 1,500 employees, we would be, if not the largest, one of the largest employers in the county. We need to think about the economic impact of the school district on our local business and local economic development,” Morgan said. “When we have to cut supplies, it has an immediate impact on local businesses. Mr. Dorton was right on point during the meeting ... my guess is that the county would have jumped on that (FILOT).”

During the meeting, Morgan and Trustee Andy James also outlined several issues that will be discussed during the upcoming General Assembly session.

Morgan said the General Assembly will address many budget issues and include discussion of reducing the school year to 170 days, lowering graduation requirements and merit-based pay this year -- all of which will directly impact school districts and students.

“There is a lot of serious discussion that’s going on right now ... this is pretty drastic stuff that’s being discussed,” Morgan said on Thursday morning, “and I hope the public stays on top of this.”

In other news, the board discussed school district policy changes recommended by the South Carolina School Boards Association. The board addressed changes regarding employment and legal issues, as well as S.C. Law Enforcement Division and background checks for chaperones and volunteers, which they are scheduled to vote on during the board’s next meeting.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 19 in the KCSD boardroom, 1301 DuBose Court, Camden.

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