Bond reissue to save district $744,000

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By David Meade

During their meeting Tuesday, Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved first reading on the 2014-15 budget, approved an interest saving bond issue and heard from concerned parents about a decision to move a special education class to Powdersville High.

As approved the budget has anticipated revenues of $60,160,887 with expenditures of $60,687,117. The $526,230 deficit will be made up from the District’s reserve fund. No one spoke during a public hearing on the budget held prior to the start of the regular meeting.

Retiring Finance Director Steve Uldrick gave his final budget report. Uldrick said the district had received revenues of $6,313,212 and expenses of $5,361,021, which he said is about 91 percent of the budget.

During the instruction report, Assistant Superintendent Jane Harrison recognized Ginger Bishop, who accepted a certificate recognizing Palmetto Middle School as a National School to Watch Middle School.

The school is one of only 94 in the nation and 5 in the state to receive the designation. A special program was held at the school Friday. Palmetto Middle is only one of two schools to be redesignated with the title, Harrison said.

Hunt Meadows teacher Collen Rork was recognized for receiving the WYFF Golden Apple Award for providing a safe environment and teaching with technology.

Harrison also updated the board on the District’s transition to technology and becoming ISI mobile certified. She said 17 teachers and 39 students are helping with the new technology and rollout of Ipads which are being used for instruction in the District.

“Teachers are extremely excited about this,” Superintendent David Havird said.

Assistant Superintendent for Administration Robbie Binnicker reported the district food service program had a profit of $51,000 for April and a YTD profit of $287,000.

He said the District will receive indirect cost reimbursements of approximately $190,000 and $90,000 for fringe benefits from the program profits.

The board approved a reissue of Build America Bonds being handled by Southwestern Securites and the McNair Law Firm.

The reissue will lower the interest rate on the 2009-A Build America Bond ($12,630,000 for the building program) from 3.97 percent to 3.43 percent and by combining the reissue with a $7 million technology bond, the District should save approximately $744,000 in attorney fees and other associated costs.

A similar reissue on bonds in January saved the district $1.1 million in interest.

In other action, the board approved six technology resource related policies dealing with conduct for network, internet and E-mail services for staff and students.

An additional policy addresses cell phone, internet and mobile devises and digital citizenship, according to Binnicker.

“We do allow cell phones as part of instruction,” he said.

The policy also addresses where cell phones are not allowed, such as restrooms and locker rooms and student guidelines for sending or receiving inappropriate messages, according to Binnicker.

The board also heard from three parents of special needs children in the Wren/Powdersville area.

The parents expressed concerns about a decision made earlier this year to move teacher David Bryant’s special education class from Wren High School to Powdersville High School for the 2014-15 school year.

The parents expressed concerns about the effects moving the class would have on their child and that they had not been consulted or brought in on discussions prior to the decision being made.

Superintendent David Havird said the District has been in the process of moving teachers and students to the new Powdersville school for the last three years.

“We have gradually been moving students, teachers and classes from Wren to Powdersville for the last three years,” he said

Havird said the EMD self contained class is being moved so that students in the established class at Powdersville Middle can transition to Powdersville High School.

He said the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team, which is comprised of teachers, parents, and support staff, decided the move was in the best interest of the district and would be the most appropriate placement for the students.

Parents with children affected by the decision received a letter from the District about the change in March of this year.