District One may balance budget with state funding

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Diplomas may be awared to those denied based on Exit Exam

By David Meade

During their monthly meeting Tuesday, Anderson School District One Board of Trustees amended the budget, approved a process to award diplomas to students who failed the exit exam and approved personnel recommendations for the upcoming school year.

District One Superintendent David Havird told the Board that after approving the budget, the state Senate approved additional revenue for schools, amounting to $270,000 for Anderson District One.

Havird said the additional money was added to the expected revenue in the budget, lowering the amount that was needed from the fund balance.

As approved at their last meeting, the budget had anticipated revenues of $60,160,887 with expenditures of $60,687,117. The $526,230 deficit was to be made up from the District’s reserve fund.

Havird also told the Board that an additional $318,000 that could be coming from the state for technology infrastructure may be available for technical personnel if the state allows it.

“We don’t need it for infrastructure,” he said. According to Havird District One has already invested in technology upgrades.

Havird said the district is making a request to be allowed to use the funds for personnel. He said if allowed, the district may be able to balance the budget without dipping into the fund balance.

The board unanimously approved the amended budget with the Senate revenues added.

The District One budget was recently presented to the Anderson County School Board where it was approved.

The Board also approved a new policy that reflects a change in state law regarding awarding diplomas to students denied graduation solely on the basis of failing the Exit Exam.

The General Assemblyrecently changed the requirement which goes back to when it was enacted in 1990.

According to Havird, the change could allow as many as 100 former District One students who had enough credits to receive a diploma but failed the exit exam, to receive their high school diploma.

Havird said students who are now adults who were affected by the requirement can petition the school to get their diploma. Havird said he already has five on the list.

He said the required 20 or 24 credits have to be verified by a guidance counselor and paper work submitted to the state department to get a diploma.

Havird recommended that the board allow those who qualify and wish to, to come to a board meeting to be congratulated and receive their diploma. The board approved the process and the recommendation made by the superintendent.

The board also approved second reading on revised technology policies guiding student and staff use of technology resources.

Assistant Superintendent Robbie Binnicker reported that the Nutritional Services showed a $94,000 profit in May. The program has a $382,000 year to date profit.

From that $196,000 will be paid back to the District for indirect costs, $90,000 for employee benefits, and $78,000 for new dish washers and warmers. Binnicker said after the expenses are paid out, the program will show about an $18,000 profit for District One.

Havird reported that the district had 600 to 700 employees attend professional development training in preparation for the IPad deployment.

The District is spending $3.1 million to purchase 7,600 IPads and related materials which will be used in the classroom this fall.

The IPads will be used in classes from kindergarten to grade twelve.

The Board also approved personnel recommendations (See separate story).