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DD2 Budget Committee Revamps Turf Field Financing; McMaster and Weaver Agree on Education Funding


The following was written by Stephen DeVita of DD2 Unwrapped


Dorchester County, S.C. - Staff presented a $3.7M resolution (still unavailable on its webpage a day after the meeting) to issue a solicitation for new financing because the previously chosen vendor “had a pretty high interest rate” (4% with over a $500k annual payment) despite having just recommended to the Board to approve this same vendor on Feb. 27, 2023, which passed 7-0. Obviously, the staff did not make the award, or, if so, cancelled it. This part was not discussed during the public meeting.


Instead, Ms Wimberly and Mr. Farnsworth were concerned about having something in writing to ensure that schools make their contributions toward the fields as was presented on Feb. 27, 2023. The Committee voted 5-0 to move the resolution forward to Monday’s Board meeting.


Staff highlighted the Governor’s and State superintendent’s funding priorities in the slide below. $2,500 is being proposed as an add to the State’s minimum salary schedule of 23 steps. DD2 has a 28-step scale. Later in the meeting staff discussed the local 5 additional steps for funding.


Next, the annual bond payment on the Growth Bonds was altered this year to add funds for the 3-year student technology refresh despite no one from the technology department being present to answer questions and no one else able to say whether the same or different devices would be bought and whether it would be all levels at once or phased. Staff speculated that it would first be for elementary. Recall last year the Board hired a Chief of Technology for over $137k for its IT.


By bringing technology in house last year, Mr. Farnsworth realized that the Superintendent added about 14 positions to the payroll without Board approval. The Board had only voted to create and fill the Chief of Technology position.


Check out #DD2unwrapped on Facebook to see more of the slides, the wishlist, the new calendar of meetings and more.

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