School budget includes nine new teachers, SROs in all 14 schools

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By David Meade
The Anderson School District One Board approved a revised 2018-19 budget during their July 11 meeting.
Highlights of the budget are as follows:
The amended $75,072,271 budget shows an increase of $424,884 due to changes in the final state budget. The additional revenue increase was offset by an additional $800,000 in expenses, according to District One Superintendent Robbie Binnicker.
In order to balance the budget, Binnicker said the finance staff had to find an additional $400,000 which he said is coming from previouisly budgeted capital outlay for roofing and HVAC.
The current Millage Rate of 147 will increased to 153.4 mills. The State Average is 182.
The millage increase will being in an additional $714,000 in revenue.
On a $20,000 vehicle the increase will amount an additional increase in taxes of $7.68. On a $50,000 rental or business property, the increase will amount to $19.20.
The budget reflects a 3.98 percent increase from last year and is based on student enrollment of approximately 150 to 200 or more new students.
The projected based student cost, the amount the state provides per student, is $2,485.
The State is providing funding for Reading Coaches, amounting to $431,248 for District One.
The budget includes an increase of $375,000 to add four SROs, providing certified, trained and armed SRO in every school in Anderson One.
The budget changes include increases in Professional Staff of 9.5 FTE at $595,000; Support Staff (5.5FTE) $302,000; One percent increase for teachers $315,000; One percent increase for support staff $90,000 and Step increases for teachers and support staff, $827,000.
Also Teacher Certification Upgrades of $120,000; Employee Health (7.4 percent increase $290,000; Retirement (new rate of 20.61 percent); Saving – new hires vs. retirees ($410,000).
Health insurance and retirement increased by 3.03 percent and adding a 26th year to the salary schedule affected the budget on the expense side, according to Binnicker.
“Every teacher will see an increase which is needed for the district to stay competitive,” Binnicker said.
Operational increases include Utilities/Water.Sewer/Services $153,000 and Instructional/Media Center Supplies $47,000.
The District is funding foreign language initiatives at the middle and elementary school levels.
The District will be adding staff to support the growning number of students needing academic assistance, ESOL and special education services.
Changes in state support include State EFA support increase of $161,379; Employer Contributions (Fringe) increase of $321,776; Teacher Salary Supplement of $322,645; for a total of $805,800.
On the expense side, changes include:
Personnel Salaries and Benefits $63,892,561; Capital Outlay $1,807,828; Other expenses $243,275.
Purchases services ($4,877,173); Supplies and materials ($3,678,434) and Transfers ($573,000) did not change.
Total staffing changes include adding 9.5 FTE teachers for Middle Schools. Powdersville Middle will get 3.5, Wren Middle an additional four teachers and Palmetto Middle will get two new teachers.
Concrete Elementary will get two teachers, Hunt Meadows will add a part time teacher and Spearman will get two teachers.
Wren Elementary will lose one teacher, West Pelzer will lose one and Palmetto Elementary will lose two.
The only changes on the High School level will be a reduction of 1.5 treachers at Wren.
The amended budget was presented to the Anderson County School Board for final approval Monday.
The County Board also approved Dr. Doug Atkins to fill out the unexpired term of his seat on the District One School Board.