Schools need to be kept open


One of the primary ways the state funds local school districts is through the Education Funding Act which is supposed to follow a funding formula. When this Act was passed in 1977, its Base Student Cost (BSC) was set at $1000 per weighted pupil unit. This BSC is to increase each year with inflation to help districts keep their programs current as prices and salaries increase.

According to the law, the BSC should be about $2,800. The state only funded it at $2,200 this year.

The House Ways and Means Committee announced it is giving public K-12 education an extra $375 million next year. One of the reasons is a generous boost in the BSC. Overall state revenue to school districts is rising at its highest rate since before the recession.

In Pickens County the sum of the county government and county school taxes is 234.7 mills. Ten years ago it was 201.4. The increase is totally attributed to the school district. There has been a significant growth in the number of properties and the tax rate has been raised too.

Given all this, why doesn’t school board of Pickens County have enough funding to keep all its renovated schools open? Some are saying the district is in a financial crisis. If there is a crisis, there shouldn’t be. There is enough funding. The school district must better manage their revenue coming in and instead of 10 number one priorities there should be one. Keep the schools open.

Weldon Clark

Liberty

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