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School Board hears initial plans for budget, construction projects

January 16, 2019

The Aiken County School Board heard initial plans for the 2019-20 budget and construction projects to be funded for the $90 million bond referendum Monday at a special called meeting.

Tray Traxler, the chief officer of Finance for Aiken County Public Schools, said the key areas of the budget’s focus are as follows:

• Staffing allocations

• Teacher salaries, taking into account that the state will require a step and the state focus on teacher recruitment and retention could include a cost-of-living adjustment

• Non-teacher salaries

• State retirement

• State health plan

• Charter school allotments

• Other items that must be included or pre-approved items and budget input.

Traxler said the budget will have to plan for early projected staff increases at the new Graniteville Elementary in Area 3 and at the new Aiken Intermediate School and at Schofield Middle and Kennedy Middle in Area 1.

The next budget work session meeting will be March 19. The timeline for the approval of the budget is as follows:

• April 23, first reading of the budget

• By April 29, advertisement of the budget

• May 14, budget hearing

• May 28, second reading and adoption of the 2019-20 budget.

The board also heard plans from representatives of architectural firms for the six construction projects to be funded by the $90 million bond referendum voters approved in May.

The six projects are the new Highland Springs Elementary and Middle school and additions at Midland Valley High, Millbrook Elementary, Hammond Hill Elementary and Belvedere Elementary. Details of the construction plans will be reported in a later story.

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