AC BOE to meet Thursday, resume budget talks

After the Anderson County Budget Committee rejected the school system’s request for $821,000 to balance its budget for the coming fiscal year, the School Board will meet Thursday, May 16th at 6 pm to continue their discussion from last week.

The Budget Committee last Thursday rejected the school system’s request for the equivalent of five cents on the tax rate in new money to make up the shortfall while also giving employees pay raises and addressing capital project needs like a leaky roof at Andersonville Elementary School and several others.

According to the Clinton Courier News, some of the suggestions bandied about by School Board members to find ways to cut a budget already described as “bare-bones” included possibly closing one of the system’s smaller elementary schools, or cutting programs like art and music. The paper reports that others suggested using money from the undesignated fund balance to make up the shortfall.

It was noted during the meeting that three years ago, the Anderson County Commission had agreed to pay a total of $1.2 million over a three-year period to pay for the schools’ 1:1 technology initiative that provides Chrome Books to students, but only paid for one year due to their own budget constraints. That resulted in the school system having to use $800,000 from its capital outlay fund to pay for the program.

County Commissioner Josh Anderson, a member of the Budget Committee, said on Facebook last week that he will propose using $810,000 from the county’s undesignated fund balance, which currently sits at over $4 million, “to pay the school system what we said we would pay for the chrome books.” He says that he would like to help out the school system without any further tax increases.

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