Local funding makes Kershaw Co. school board budgeting even harder

By Jillian Capobianco - bio | email

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Although the Kershaw County School Board passed its 2009-2010 school budget last month, there is a big chunk that is still uncertain: local funding.

The school board has already cut their budget by seven percent.

"We've cut everything frankly we could cut and not have and at least have a limited impact as possible in class rooms," said Superintendent Frank Morgan.

The school district has cut 16 teachers, cut working retirees and have out-sourced custodial services.

Because of the down economy, the district only requested the county government for the same funding they had last year, but with no increases, but there's a problem: the property values or millage rates have gone down.

"The difference is about $640,000 which is, which is when you really look at it, 10 teachers,"

Here's how it breaks down: last year, the rates were at $190,000. This year they are down to $186,000.

The county would have to increase taxes on businesses and rental properties to give the same amount.

For a property worth $100,000, that's a tax increase of 24 dollars a year.

Here is why Councilman Jimmy Jones says he opposes the increase.

"It's all based on our economy. I will not support a tax increase of any kind in this economy. I don't think the people in our community can afford a tax increase. We've all had to tighten our belts and I expect the school district to do the same," said Jones.

Now the school board wants to bring the question to a higher authority.

The board has asked the county to hold their decision until Attorney General Henry McMaster gives his opinion on whether the county is required to give the district the money.

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