Approval of the FY2018 Budget
The general operating budget for the 2017-2018 school year (FY2018 Budget) was approved by a 5-3-1 vote.
A few highlights of the budget include:
- 119 classroom positions will be restored, with a significant portion of that number going to grades 1-3 in schools around the district
- An increase of 2.9 in mills (a tax increase on commercial property and vehicle) will be enacted; Act 388 suggests an annual increase of 3.6 mills
The second reading of the FY2018 Budget is available here: http://www.ccsdschools.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_2973281/File/Finance/Budget/00%20Main%20file%20FY%2018.pdf
This is the first time in a decade the budget was approved with a zero-based approach, meaning all expenses must be justified for each new period. Zero-based budgeting starts from a "zero base," and every function within CCSD is analyzed for its needs and costs.
Healthy Living Curriculum (Reproductive Health)
The board, by a 4-2-1 vote, approved the “Healthy Living” online curriculum from Edgenuity as a fourth option for high school students to meet their health requirement for graduation. This would enable students not able to schedule or attend a health class the ability to learn the material independently online.
This would include but not be limited to:
- Homebound students
- Senior transfer students
- Hardship cases approved by the school
Prior to enrolling in this class, students would need to receive permission from the school they attend to enroll in the class.
Public Financial Management Contract Extension
By a 7-0 vote, the Board approved to extend the contract with Public Financial Management (PFM) for three years until March 31, 2020. PFM has served as the District’s financial advisor since 2004. The company is responsible for organizing and putting together all requirements related to our debt obligations for Tax Anticipation Notes and capital debt.
“This firm is one of only two in South Carolina that can adequately serve an entity as large as CCSD, said Chief Financial Officer, Glenn Stiegman. “Financial advising for the issuance of bonds to build schools is very complex and this firm has served the District well.”
The cost of the contract with PFM is based on a rate that is determined per bond issued by the district.
2017-2022 Capital Program (Phase IV) Sales Tax - Technology Replacements and Upgrades 6-Year Plan
Phase IV Sales Tax program included a capital technology replacement and upgrades at school facilities throughout Charleston County School District. This portion of the program was approved by a 9-0 vote by the Board of Trustees. The primary focus of this funding is to upgrade classroom technology based on a recent assessment. Upgrades and replacements will be managed by the Information Technology Department (in the Operations Division).
Any savings from the first year of the program will roll over to the following school year and be used for projects related to the same program. If any savings is needed during the current school year, Board approval will be required to shift funds. The budget for this part of Phase IV is $34,009,564 (to be spent over six years).
The following is what the approved money will be used for:
- Tech Infrastructure - Data Center in Year 1
- Classroom display technology replacements (currently SMART Boards and Projectors), including installation
- Upgrading and replacing student mobile devices
- Technology backfill (for added classrooms) includes cabling, building modules, laptops, SMART boards, projectors
- Document camera replacement
- Project management, deployment resources, and implementation
Early College High School
The CCSD Board of Trustees authorized staff to develop a model for Early College High School (ECHS) in September 2016. Then, with a 5-3-1 vote in the April 2017 board meeting, it approved the start of ECHS at the Trident Technical College Palmer campus in downtown Charleston for the 2017-2018 school year. It is intended to serve students who are traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary education and afford them the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree and/or technical degree by the end of 12th grade. The model proposed is in partnership with Trident Technical College (TTC) and is an extension of Dual Credit options available to CCSD students.
ECHS blends high school and college into a coherent educational program and serves both the developmental and intellectual needs of young people. It is a research-based model, reflects a program of study that includes summer bridge programs beginning the summer prior to the 9th grade, high school credit bearing courses, dual credit courses, career exploration, internships, and apprenticeships. School-wide AVID classes will support students as they work through a challenging curriculum to reach their goal of earning a high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree and/or technical degree.
ECHS makes higher education more accessible, affordable, and attractive by bridging the divide between high school and college. Students and families benefit by establishing a seamless pathway from high school through the first two years of college at a savings of approximately $10,000 - $14,000 by utilizing the lottery tuition advantage only available in our region with TTC. It will define and refine a model that closes the achievement gap while providing needed guidance and support from adults.
ECHS students are significantly more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college, and earn a college degree when using this model of education.
The budget for the 2017-2018 school year for ECHS will be $647,000.