School board tackles budget
It looks like things are not as bleak for the Georgetown County School District’s finances as they have been in recent years.
That means, as of now, layoffs, furloughs and major program cuts are not expected, District Superintendent Dr. Randy Dozier told the school board this week.
“We have had larger deficits and we have worked through them,” Dozier said.
As of now, the gap between anticipated revenues and everything that needs to be funded is $510,000 but that number is expected to shrink as adjustments are made before the budget receives first reading next month.
One of the big expenditures — around $200,000 — is for the funding of law enforcement officers in five county schools. The grant for funding those school resource officers expires July 1 and cannot be renewed for at least one year.
“We will continue to have that program regardless of what happens,” Dozier said, stressing the importance of having an officer in each middle and high school.
Dozier said he will work with District Finance Director Lisa Johnson to try to make adjustments in other areas so the SROs can be funded.
If need be, the money can come from the $9.5 million the district has in reserves, a bigger undesignated fund balance than in recent years which was usually around $5.5 million.
Another program that has been supported by a grant that is expiring is the Family Literacy Program.
Dozier said he also expects to find the needed funds to keep that program alive.
A public hearing will be held on the budget on June 5.
By Scott Harper
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