Tentative budget’s proposed 4.6-mill school operating tax increase, which would raise the current operating tax rate from 131.6 mills to 136.2 mills, drew most of the comments during a special called meeting for public input on June 5 and a public hearing session during the regular school board meeting on June 12.
The operating millage has not increased since the 2009-10 school year. The proposed budget does not include an increase in the debt service millage.
The operating mill increase, if adopted, would not apply to primary residences because of South Carolina Act 388, which exempts “owner-occupied residential property from school operating millage”, according to the act.
Approximately $1.5 million would result from the proposed millage increase, if the mill increase is adopted, according to the district’s comptroller Tray Traxler.
Majority of the proposed budget’s changes are within the district’s general fund, which is tentatively slated for $162,747,306.
The changes include the required 2 percent salary increase plus step increase for all teachers, a 4 percent increase for assistant principals, a 2 percent increase for all other employees, two new educational technology positions, additional dollars for contracted technology services, three new curriculum coach positions, additional allocations of Career & Technology Education teaching positions, an additional teacher allocation for East Aiken School of the Arts, one teacher allocation for the strings program, upgrading a vacant accounting position to a higher level position, the creation of a new volunteer coordinator position, and funding for full-time attendance aides, instead of part-time, at the county’s three smallest high schools: Ridge Spring Monetta, Wagener Salley, and Silver Bluff.
It also includes one-time funding for textbooks and instruction supplies for the Advance Placement program and for two technology projects—completion of wireless overlay and platform migration.
The school board meeting will be held at the district’s office, 1000 Brookhaven Drive, Aiken.
The complete tentative budget and the district’s other financial information can be found at acps.schoolfusion.us.