Email from Dr. Frank Morgan dated Feb. 21, 2011
Dear KCSD employees and community:
I wanted to provide an update on several critical issues being considered by the General Assembly that will have very direct impact on the funds available for education in Kershaw County and in our state next year.
As you probably know, the General Assembly’s budget development process starts with the House of Representatives. Right now, the House Ways and Means Committee is hearing testimony and considering how to structure a budget proposal that will ultimately be considered by the full House. A proposed House budget should be presented within the next 30 days.
Issues currently under consideration by the House Ways and Means Committee and the whole House of Representatives include:
- A Base Student Cost of $1,347, which reflects the level of funding in 1987. However, once this amount is adjusted for inflation, its purchasing power would be about $486, the level of funding that existed in the early 1970s.
- Freezing of teacher pay, elimination of step increases, and development of a merit pay plan to determine teacher pay.
- A requirement that local funds be used to fund state-approved charter schools. Under this legislation, Kershaw County would lose between $220,000-$300,000 or the equivalent of 4-6 teachers. There is also a proposal to fund charter school students from the state budget at a much higher level than regular students are funded, at a cost of around $20 million.
- A 50% reduction in technical assistance funds, which provide resources for schools to use to provide assistance for students who are reading below grade level.
- Reduction in funds for school nurses.
- A 170-day school year.
- A reduction in graduation requirements to reduce high school teaching positions.
- Elimination of funding for kindergarten assistants.
- Suspension of funds that support Internet connectivity.
All of these proposals would have profound impact on our district and on K-12 education across the state. I encourage you to stay informed about what is under consideration. Contact information for our legislators, the Governor, and the State Superintendent is provided below.
Please feel free to share this information. Thank you for your continued commitment to educational excellence.
Frank Morgan, Ed.D.
Governor Nikki Haley
Contact Governor Haley online
Superintendent Mick Zais, State Department of Education
Kershaw County Delegation
Senator Joel Lourie – Contact Senator Lourie
Senator Vincent Sheheen – Contact Senator Sheheen
Representative Laurie Slade Funderburk – Contact Rep. Funderburk
Representative Mia Butler Garrick – Contact Rep. Garrick
Speaker Pro Tempore Jay Lucas – Contact Rep. Lucas