Aiken school leaders meet, discuss possible budget cuts

AIKEN -- Aiken County school leaders expect to absorb another 15 percent budget cut from the state for the 2009-2010 year.

The school board and county administrators met this morning to discuss possible options to cut the budget for the next school year, which leaders say are all grim.

“A conservative approach is critical,” said Superintendent Dr. Beth Everitt.

Possible options include increasing elementary class sizes by three pupils and middle and high school class sizes by two pupils, for a savings of $4.9 million, according to Comptroller Tray Traxler.

Other cuts include no signing bonuses for critical needs teachers, reducing 12-month staff and reducing supplements to athletics and extra curricular programs.

The 15 percent cut means the district would have to absorb more than $12 million in what the state couldn’t fund.

Mr. Traxler discussed more than 20 possible options to cut money in the district.

Even if the district used all of those options, the budget could still meet a shortfall of about $800,000 to $1 million for the next school year.

More

Savannah River Site resumes normal activity

A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday afternoon at the Savannah River National Laboratory which prompted emergency responseactivities.

... Read more