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KCSD still working on budget

Posted: June 9, 2011 6:38 p.m.
Updated: June 10, 2011 5:00 a.m.

With the state budget still up in the air, the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees were still unable to pass a 2011-12 fiscal year budget during its meeting Tuesday evening.

Regardless of what the outcome will be, however, Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Chief Financial Officer Donnie Wilson told trustees the budget will still be better than previously expected. Even under the worst case scenario, he said, the district will be able to eliminate all previously planned furlough days and staff reductions.

“We started this budget discussion with a base student cost of $1,725, although the House, their version was $1,788. We weren’t sure where it was going to end up, if the money was there, if it was one-time money -- and here we are on the seventh of June, and we still don’t have a final base student cost,” Wilson said. “But, we have a clearer picture now of which direction it’s headed, and it’s headed up.”

The district’s tentative 2011-12 budget, which KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan presented to the board in March, includes five furlough days for teachers and 10 furlough days for administrators, as well as the reductions of several clerical positions.

State economists are adding $210 million to the state’s revenue projects for 2011-12 because of stronger than expected state revenues -- a move that will funnel $105 million into K-12 education. The KCSD should see some portion of those additional revenues.

The current version of the S.C. House of Representatives budget includes a base student cost of $1,876, while the current S.C. Senate version includes a base student cost of $1,959. Under either scenario, the board would not have to consider enacting any furloughs for district staff or reductions.

“They’re going to reach a compromise, and if we assume that they’re going to split 50-50 between the Senate version and the House version, then the base student cost would come in somewhere around $1,925,” Wilson said. “And if we put a $35 buffer in there, and assume that we’ll only get $1,890, we still will have no furloughs, no reductions and will still be able add $100,000 to our fund balance. That’s how things have changed during the last 10 days, and it’s amazing that here we are on June 7 and still not sure.”

In other news, trustees unanimously approved a tax anticipation note not to exceed $5 million, as well as applications for Title I and III funds. The board also unanimously approved allowing district employees to carry over an additional five annual leave days to the new school year.

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