School District One cuts $774,731 from budget

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Due to state reductions
By David Meade – During their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved a revised 2012-13budget with reductions of $774,731. The budget cuts were necessary because of “Hold Harmless” funding taken out of the State budget by legislators recently.

Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler said the reduction in state funding had a greater impact on school districts “that are bedroom communities” such as School District One.

“We were hit the hardest of any Anderson County School District,” Dr. Fowler said.

The board approved seven recommendations made by the Superintendent including: Not replacing a maintenance department person; salary reduction due to the retirement of Dr. John Pruitt; not replacing an assistant principal at Wren High School; not replacing a one-on one-teaching assistant; making an energy cost adjustment and cutting technology replacement funding.

The technology funding of $473,790 is the largest reduction in the budget. The district will be able to make the cut because of recent upgrades in technology in classrooms throughout the district during the building program that is just finishing, according to Dr. Fowler.

Fowler told the Board that the District One Director of Technology Andrea Hancock had told him “we can make it work.”

He said that a number of older computers were being refurbished by the District and will continue to be used instead of purchasing new ones. “We will get more life out of these computers,” he said.

A reduction of $99,649 will leave $300,000 in the maintenance account, according to Dr. Fowler. “This would not have been enough if the district had not just upgraded with the building program,” he said.

Other budget reductions include $52,000 for the maintenance position, approximately $90,000 for Director of Secondary Education; assistant principal at Wren; $30,000 for teacher assistant; and the energy adjustment of $20,000.

“We have worked diligently to come up with this list of items and we would recommend them as expenditure reductions,” Dr. Fowler said.

The board unanimously approved the recommended reductions of $774,731, resulting in a budget $54,976,782. The approved budget will go back to the County School Board for final approval.