SUMTER, SC (WIS) - Sumter County School District voted to re-open a middle school that they shut down last fall, but today the financial committee board members say the district can’t comfortably afford to open that school back up.
The Sumter County School District’s Financial Committee is trying to keep their account out of the red.
That’s why, based on district financial stats that they looked at today, they unanimously voted to recommend against the school board’s decision to re-open Mayewood Middle School.
The committee listed several unknown factors they believe could put a dent in the district’s pockets by re-opening. Those included a potential mandate to increase teacher salary coming from the State House, as well as declining enrollment. District leaders say they’d have to find the funds to keep the school open.
“There’s not a whole lot we can do to get more money,” said Debbie Hamm, the interim superintendent. “We could make a request to county council to increase the millage for schools.”
But some folks here in Sumter just aren’t buying the info that’s being put out there.
“Now all of a sudden the Sumter school district comes up with figures as to how much it costs to reopen Mayewood School,” said Dr. Brenda Williams, who has grandkids in the district. “The district got those figures together in one week. We feel like they’re totally inaccurate.”
The school board has the final decision but no word yet on if they’re backing down.
“The Sumter school district rushed into the decision to close that school,” Williams said.
The State Board of Education has requested that the district provide a new financial plan by Wednesday to show how they plan to stay on budget if Mayewood re-opens.