Board recognizes two students, hears funding reports

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Federal penalty affects local education funding

By David Meade – The Anderson School District One Board of Trustees recognized two District One students who have been in the spotlight on a national level recently. Kate Brady, a student at Wren High School was recognized by the board for being the winner of the National Beta Club Oratory contest.

Brady said for her winning speech she spoke about visiting all 46 counties in South Carolina and how the experience ended up changing her life. She said that the smallest of activites, such as buying a man an ice cream at an ice cream stand, was an example of giving and that “God gives us hope.”

“My speech was about encouraging Beta Club members to share and what I gained from that,” she said.

Another Wren student, Rachel Wyatt, was recognized for being selected the Miss SC Outstanding Teen and then the Miss Oustanding America Teen recently.

She explained her platform is based on dance and miracles through movement. She spoke about working with special needs children at her dance studio and how it inspired her to make it her platform. Her platform helps support the Children’s Miracle Network. She has raised $6,500 for the children’s hospitals.

Board Chairman Fred Alexander presented plaques recognizing the achievements to both students.

In the financial report, Director of Finance Steve Uldrick told the board that approximately $400,000 in funding expected from the state has not been made available yet.

The loss in federal funding was the result of the state failing to meet the Maintenance of Local Effort (MOE) goal required by the Federal Government to get the matching federal funds. South Carolina, the only state in the nation that did not meet the goal, is being penalized with a 9 percent decrease in the federal funding.

The penalty cost SC $36 million and the state is the only one in the nation that didn’t get the funding. South Carolina recently lost an appeal and is in the process of a second appeal, according to Dr. Fowler.

In his new position as a District One Administrator, Robbie Binnicker reported on grants he is pursuing and gave the instructional report.

Binnicker told the board that the test scores for HSAP and ACT for the district continue to reflect that District One ranks among the highest in the state. The District also ranks among the highest in the state on PASS test scores.

He said that Director of Elementary Education Jane Harrison was studying the results to see where the district can improve and that strengthening writing skills for elementary level, maintaining math and focusing on common core and pacing guides were priorities.

He reported that he is working on four grants including an Upward Bound grant for $250,000 for Palmetto High School, a Title II Federal grant of $160,000 which would provide for some personnel and staff development, a nurses grant for $387,000 for nurses in some of the elementary schools; a Play Safe Grant for $40,000 for an athletic trainer at Palmetto High.

Binnicker said that Wren and Powdersville High both have a trainer provided through a contract with St. Francis Hospital system.

David Havird reported that the nutritional program had revenues of $4 million and expenses of $3,771,419. With depreciation of $194,459 and the purchase of new equipment, the program ended with a profit of $232,795 which will go into the District One general fund.

Havird said the District will continue to buy new service lines which have been updated in all schools over the last five years.

The district is working with new federal regulations dealing with child obesity which Havird said results in reduced servings, and less protein. He said the nutrition program encourages excellent nutritional meals with choices.