School Board approves 2016-17 calendar, hears local option sales tax update

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During a special presentation Tuesday, Anderson School District One principals and students showed their appreciation to District One Board members, presenting books which will be placed in school libraries throughout the district in each board members honor. Following the presentation, Superintendent David Havird presented a 10 year pin to Board Member Dr. Doug Atkins for his service on Anderson School District One Board and the South Carolina School Board Association. Board member David Merritt was recognized for 20 years of service as a District One Board member.

Havird summed up comments made during the recognition, stating that the principals and students made it clear that they see the board works in collaboration as a team, runs very professional meetings and “they understand that you love School District One.” Havird said, “You focus on the children and learning and the goal is for students to achieve. You as a board work to make that happen, you are professional and care for students.”

Several new hires for the 2016-17 school year were introduced and voted on later in the meeting.

As part of the instructional report, a Palmetto High ninth grader Gracie Poore presented a stop-motion video on cellular respiration.

The student told the board that without their support of the technology in District One she would not have been able to produce the video. “It allows me to be creative and have fun at school,” Poore said.

The Board unanimously elected Fred Alexander Board Chairman and Nancy Upton Vice-Chair. David Merritt was re-elected Secretary.

Melissa Hood was elected to serve on the Anderson County Alternative School Board.

Upton and Atkins were re-elected to serve on the Anderson Districts 1&2 Career and Technology Center Board.

The Board heard an update on revenues from the Local Option Sales Tax. Finance Director Travis Thomas reported the district received $539,900 as its portion of the $1,780,000 collected in the County in September and the district received just under $535,000 for its portion from October.

The funds are being used for technology and equipment upgrades in schools and classrooms throughout the district, Havird said.

Thomas reported that the state had reduced the Base Student Cost by $48 which he said will cost Anderson District One approximately $491.000, an amount he described as “very significant.”

Other adjustments in the state budget for EFA and weighted pupil units and growth will offset the reduction in the base student cost, Thomas said.

There was some discussion about the state budget process and the complex formula state legislators use to predict growth in the state.

Havird said he was “frustrated” with the way legislators manage the state budget.

He also said that State Superintendent Molly Spearman and Gov. Nikki Haley were working together on funding for education, however the funds for roads and bridges is coming out of the general fund and does affect the education funding.

The board also approved the 2016-17 countywide school calendar. All five Anderson County school districts will operate on the calendar, he said. District One Assistant Superintendent Robbie Binnicker chaired the countywide calendar committee.