By David Meade
During their meeting Tuesday, Anderson School District One Board of Trustees heard preliminary budget information and approved a large number of teachers and administrators for the 2017-18 school year.
Superintendent David Havird presented information on expected funding from the state and national level and the effect for District One.
Havird said the SC State House budget will increase funding for the Education Finance Act (EFA) by $38 million which will raise the base student cost by $50, from $2,350 to $2,400. He said the Senate may increase it to $100.
The state budget will also fund $36 million for school districts to cover the cost of one percent of the required two percent increase in employer contribution for the state retirement system.
The state is also expected to provide $25.4 million to cover health insurance premium increases, he said.
A $100 million allocation to the Education Improvement Act funds will help districts with high poverty index but will not help in District One, he said.
Funding from the SC lottery is being allocated to purchase or lease school buses.
There is a $375,000 increase for teacher supply reimbursement and teachers will agin receive $275 to purchase supplies for their classrooms.
Also $3 million is being made available for student industry certifications and credential exams and $19.4 million for EIA funds to address SC Public Charter School District growth.
State funding for some programs was cut.
Havird said $23.8 million in SC lottery funding has been cut for K-12 Technology Initiative.
Also cut was $23 million to the Aid to School District budget line which was set aside for use in the settlement over the Individuals with Disabilities Act requirements.
On the National level, Title 1 funding is being increased by $1 billion along with a $250 million for a new program dedicated to encouraging districts to adopt a system of student-based budgeting and open enrollment.
Special Education grants to states through IDEA is being funded at approximately $13 billion. The average federal share of funding per student will be about $1,777.
Federal funding is being cut by $2.4 billion for investments for Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act for professional development, in-service training, technology integration into curricula, training to improve student achievement, development of STEM master teacher corps and more.
Also $1 billion in funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers that help districts provide professional development, tutorial services, youth development and other after school programs.
District One Finance Director Travis Thomas said the state employee retirement contribution will add $342,000 to the District One budget, to go toward the required two percent increase for retirement.
The EFA increase of $50 for base student cost will bring in an additional $502,000.
Professional development and techonologywill see a decrease of $18,000.
Career and Technology Education equipment funding of $47,285 is being rolled into a new fund which will bring $245,301 to District One for the Career and Technology Center.
Overall the District is expected to see an increase from the state from $41,934,197 (2016-17) to $42,516,523 for a difference of $582,325.
Havird said school districts need to see an increase in the base student cost. “We really need the base student cost to go up a bit,” he said.
He also said that in District One, property assessments are going up which will help and that growth of 200 students which were not included in the budget last year will help this year’s budget.”Growth and assessment will help us this year.”
District One will see a loss of $311,358 for technology because of the decrease in lottery funding, according to Thomas.
In other business the board approved second reading on 13 new or revised policies.
They then went into executive session to discuss real estate related contract.
The Board approved a large number of teachers and administrator recommendations. (See separate story)