Anderson, South Carolina


May 31, 2007

6:30 P.M.



The Board of Trustees of Anderson County School District Number Five met in the Offices of the Board this date with the following members present: Mr. David Alewine, Mr. Charles Lee Anderson, Dr. William Mack Burriss, Mr. John William Caldwell, Sr., Mrs. Ann W. Huitt, Mrs. Margaret Mack, Mr. Al Norris, Jr., and Dr. Paul A. Talmadge.Absent was Mr. Rick Bradshaw.





In accordance with the S. C. Code of Laws, 1976, Section 30-4-80(d), as amended, the following have been notified of the time, date, place and agenda of this meeting:The Anderson Independent-Mail, Greenville News, The Anderson Journal, WYFF, WSPA, Paul Brown, and FOX 21.





Dr. Burriss called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m. for the purpose of presenting the proposed 2007-2008 Budget to members of the Anderson County Board of Education.





In his opening remarks, Dr. Burriss stated that Anderson School District Five has two high schools, a Hanna-Westside Extension Campus, three middle schools, 10 elementary schools, one magnet school for the arts, one operating early childhood education center, and one early childhood education center currently under construction.Three of our elementary schools and one middle school operate on the modified calendar schedule.


Dr. Burriss further stated that our schools are crowded, but we continue to grow.We now have approximately 12,000 students.We continue to be a district of extremes.We have many homes and families considered to be relatively affluent.We also have over 50% of our students on free and reduced lunch and 60% of our homes are classified as being at the poverty level.The District spends less per child on education than the state median and more than 80% of our high school completers go on to higher education.Dr. Burriss then recognized Dr. Talmadge to present the Finance Committee Report.





Dr. Talmadge stated that as chairman of the Finance Committee, he works with the committee in preparing the budget for the coming school year.The traditional process is used where the principals and their staff decide on their needs, present their needs to the Administration, the Administration consider the requests from the schools, and then a preliminary budget is presented to the Finance Committee.The Finance Committee reviewed the preliminary 2007-2008 Budget, met with the full Board at a work session where reductions were made to the budget, and then presented the proposed 2007-2008 Budget to the full Board for approval.He stated that the Finance Committee looked critically at all of the requests to be sure they met the vision and strategic plan of the District.We looked at the amounts, considered the justification for the inclusion or deletion of amounts, and we asked ourselves will this aid and add to the educational quality of our program.


Dr. Talmadge further stated that when the principals submitted their requests to the Administration, the requests were approximately $12 million over budget.After considering all the additions to the budget mandated by the State, we had less than $1 million to meet the needs of the schools.The state mandated cost of living increase for teachers, the automatic step increases, and the cost of living increase traditionally applied to all employees of the District account for a substantial amount of our new money, leaving a small amount for improvement in our programs.We are trying to catch up to where we were before 2001 after receiving drastic state budget cuts, causing the elimination of programs and personnel.Due to the state budget cuts, the district had to delete more than $6 million from its budget over a period of several years.


Finally, Dr. Talmadge stated that the District did not make Maintenance of Effort in 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and it is uncertain as to whether or not we will make Maintenance of Effort for 2006-2007. The reason is growth, and as a growing school district it is difficult to make Maintenance of Effort. The Districts enrollment increased by 460 students after the budget was approved. We are expecting a projected increase of 300 students for next year. We are caught between two laws one law says you have to make Maintenance of Effort, but Act 388 makes no provision to ask for greater millage to bring us up to Maintenance of Effort. When the proposed 2006-2007 budget is presented, we ask that the Anderson County Board of Education (1) read and study the budget priorities, (2) ask questions and request additional information in a timely manner, and (3) consider the budget for approval. Dr. Talmadge then recognized Mr. Brooks to present the proposed 2007-2008 Budget.



2007-2008 BUDGET


Mr. Brooks reported that the new law Act 388 played a significant role in the development of this years budget. He stated that this years budget assumes a base student cost of $2,476 arrived at by state, which drives our EFA funding formula.


In reviewing the projected local revenue, Mr. Brooks called attention to a decrease in the current tax levies, the Act 388 revenue, and an increase in delinquent taxes. In reviewing the projected state revenue, he stated that the Education Finance Act (EFA) and Fringe Benefits show an increase. However, the EIA Transfers (teacher salaries) and the EIA Fringe both show a decrease. Mr. Brooks continued the review of the projected state revenue calling attention to Property Tax Relief, Homestead Exemption, Merchants Inventory, and Motor Carrier. He stated that the proposed budget is approximately $82,867,330 with a projection of $3,890,785 in additional revenue. He then stated that the projected millage increase of 6.32 mills, under Act 388, is what the District is entitled to receive. This is based on two factors(1) a 3.2 percent consumer price index figure reported by the state and (2) a one percent increase in population growth for our District. This totals 4.2 percent that the Office of Research and Statistics reports to us that we are entitled to receive in terms of an increase to our current operating millage. That equates to $4,873,094 in additional revenue that we have available to us.


Next, Mr. Brooks reviewed the projected expenditures which included a 3.31% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for all employees, 19 teaching positions due to growth, four full time positions due to grant funds that have been exhausted and will now be funded by the district (i.e., STAR Academy and Animal Science), one principals position for the Ninth Grade Academy, step increases for employees who are entitled to the step increase, and the MGT salary recommendations (Phase III of a salary study conducted by MGT of America). Mr. Brooks continued the review of salary projections for the different personnel as well as other expenditures. The total projected expenditures come to $83,850,239 which matches the revenue including the additional millage.





Following the presentation of the budget, members of the County Board requested additional information on the total number of employees in each of the specific categories referred to during the presentation as well as a copy of the MGT Salary Study. Questions were asked concerning student/teacher ratios, the STAR Academy, and provisions for potential cash flow.





Mr. Mahaffey presented for Board approval a list of personnel given out at the meeting being recommended for the 2007-2008 school year.


Dr. Talmadge made a motion the Board approve the personnel recommendations as presented. Mr. Alewine seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.





Mrs. Bagley stated that there has been a great deal of discussion about the recent bids for the Midway classroom addition project; however, we need to make a decision in adding classrooms for growth. She stated that the Administration has projected 912 students for next year at Midway, and approximately 19 students have registered since the end of school. She further stated that a music teacher is using the auditorium, an art teacher would be on a cart next year, and the kindergarten teacher and teacher assistant approved for next year would use the art room vacated by the art teacher. The growth is there, and it is critical that we move forward with adding the 12 classrooms to aide in keeping the student/teacher ratios down until the new elementary school is opened in 2012. It was suggested that we build the new elementary school during the first phase, but the problem would be the operating cost. If we build the new middle school and new elementary school at the same time, the operating cost would be approximately $1.8 million. The Administration recommended that the Board agree to keep the timeline as it is and approve the bid for the Midway classroom additions as originally presented. Mrs. Bagley then recognized Principal Gary Bruhjell to present additional information concerning growth in the Midway Elementary School area.


Mr. Bruhjell distributed handouts which showed Midways projected enrollment for 2007-2008 and listed some advantages of a larger school. As stated earlier, he reminded the Board that 912 students have been projected for Midway for next year 131 for kindergarten, 131 for 1st grade, 136 for 2nd grade, 150 for 3rd grade, 165 for 4th grade, 143 for 5th grade, and 56 for special education. Mr. Bruhjell briefly discussed the impact that these numbers would have on Midway without the additional classroom space. He then went on to explain the advantages of a larger school such as Innovative Scheduling, School within a School, Diverse Faculty, Specialized Staff Development, Volunteer Base, and Full-time Related Arts, etc.


Dr. Burris stated that the low bid was Laser Construction Company, Inc. for $3,810,200 and if we accept Alternate #1 (deduct of $160,800), the final bid amount would be $3,649,400. He requested a motion to approve and award the bid to Laser Construction Company, Inc.



Mr. Dan McLeod of McNair Law Firm explained the process of the District participating in a Bond Anticipation Note, and he reviewed the Bond Referendum question.


After further discussion, Dr. Burriss made a motion the Board approve the bid from Laser Construction Company, Inc. for the Midway classroom addition project accepting Alternate #1 (deduct of $160,800) for a total bid of $3,649,000. Mr. Alewine seconded the motion, which carried with six in favor and two oppositions (Norris and Anderson).





Mr. Anderson made a motion the Board recess for ten minutes, then reconvene in Executive Session to discuss a Contractual Matter. Mr. Norris seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.



(8:22 P.M.)





Dr. Talmadge made a motion the Board reconvene in Open Session. Mrs. Mack seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.


Dr. Burriss reported that no action was taken in Executive Session; however, action is required on the Contractual Matter.


Mr. Anderson made a motion the Board approve the contract negotiated by the Administration with LS3P for our two new middle schools. Mr. Alewine seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.





There being no further business, Mr. Alewine made a motion the Board adjourn. Mr. Norris seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.



(8:48 P.M.)
















Recording Secretary

As Approved By Superintendent