School budget could see $1.2 million in adjustments

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Depends on State budget

By David Meade – During their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees heard an update on the budget which according to Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler, could still need adjustments depending on the financing of the state budget.

State legislators are currently hashing out the final details of the the state budget this week. Once the House and Senate present their budget to Governor Nikki Haley, probably Thursday, she will have five days to study it and present her vetoes.

Dr. Fowler said that the tax break for small businesses appeared to be a sticking point for legislators in deciding on final funding, however budget negotiators agreed Tuesday night to phase in a tax cut for small business owners over a three year period.

The state budget delay is causing school districts, counties and municipalities problems in finalizing their budgets, many of which are required to be approved by the start of the fiscal year in July.

District One is depending on state funding of approximately $700,000 to keep the incremental raise for teachers which Dr. Fowler said could be in jeopardy. Also the Hold Harmless funding for Education Foundation could result in an additional $538,000 being cut from the local school budget. The two adjustments could amount to as much as $1.2 million for the district, Fowler said.

Board Member Tom Merritt commented on the budget situation saying, “There could be a diminishing return if we keep going one step forward and two back.”

Dr. Fowler said that District One also relies on grants which he said are drying up and “Has become more difficult.”

The board unanimously approved final reading on new and revised policies including JICFAA-Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying; IJNDB-Use of Technology Resouces in Instruction; IJNDB-R – Rule of Use of Technology Resources in Instruction; A student/parent certification form; GBN – Acceptable Use of Technology Resources; GBN-R-Rule for Acceptable Use of Technology Resources and EHB-Date Retention.

Dr. Fowler said the revisions add to the district’s internet policy and makes it stronger.

A revised procurement policy under consideration will be sent to the State School Board for approval before coming back to the local board.

Dr. Fowler said District One now falls under the state procurement code which has more involved and technical purchasing guidelines than the district had in the past.

The guidelines came into effect when the district hit the $75 million mark with their budget last year which was greatly increased due to the building fund.

The district will undergo a special audit every three years to determine if it is meeting the new standards.

The audit will cover 500 procurements Dr. Fowler said, “To insure we have institutionalized the policy.”