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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rock Hill School Board Gets Discouraging Revenue Information @ Work Session

The Rock Hill Schools learned late Monday that state revenue (BSC) would be $1910 per pupil, down from the $2034 which was budgeted. When you figure there are 300 more students than budgeted, this means about a $1.5 million revenue shortfall for the year, or a reduction in 25 employee positions. The administration and school board do not want to lay off employees in the middle of the year, so the decision to be made at the September Business meeting will be to furlough (reduce all salaries) 2 days (4 for non teachers) or to take money from the reserve fund, or a combination of both. The shortage cannot be made up only with furlough days. There are only 2 possible furlough days left in the year and each furlough day reduces expenses about $400,000. This comes on top of a budget which was not balanced in the amount of $2.5 million.

The other bad news received during the meeting was the district will see a reduction in stimulus funding in the amount of $1.33 million for the 2010-11 year. This brings the total shortage anticipated for next year up to $5.33 million, or 89 employee positions.

This past year, the district experienced 129 vacancies and filled back 64 (reduced 65 positions). This means it is possible to meet a balanced budget with normal vacancies at year end. The decision would be to either raise class size by reducing positions or to reduce all salaries with furlough days. The administration is set to present their plan for balancing the budget in two years at an October Board meeting.

In other business, the board made no changes to the proposed reassignment policy which will be presented at the September Business meeting for first reading approval (takes two readings for the change to become official). The administration will contact the state School Board Association about changes to several other policies which were presented. These may be on the September Business meeting agenda for first reading approval. There was general agreement to sell land near South Pointe High School to the state for road improvements (Pennies for Progress). This will be added to the consent agenda.

Lesslie Elementary School Students gave a demonstration of a "fast math" computer program for learning math and the board watched a video of a computer program on learning to count money.

The board heard a report on the Annex Building Appraisal ($200,000) and the cost for necessary repairs (about $100,000). The building is currently being used by several community groups. The board will make a decision at the September business meeting on whether the property should be sold.

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