Charleston County School Board looking to dig out of $28M hole

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County School Board is trying to figure out how to dig out of a $28 million hole.

Come next school year, some 86 custodians will no longer be employed by the Charleston County School District.

The decision was made during Monday night's school board meeting to outsource cleaning services. It is a measure the District hopes to save some $900,000 by doing.

"Day porters will be out source and our hope is some other company that will be bidding will be able to take advantage the employees that will be effected by that," said Chris Fraser with the Charleston County School Board.

Another item that was passed by the board is allowing individual principals to reduce school based staff as well as using alternatives to substitutes and reducing program costs.

"We probably saved $6 or 7 million tonight with some decisions, maybe a little bit more, but the problem is that we are not even half of where we got to get and it's an on going process," Fraser said.

Some other big topic issues that were tabled included top level non-school based administrators taking a 6 percent salary reduction. Also, cutting between 60 to 70 non-school based positions was tabled. The board wanted a breakdown of both specific positions as well as salaries before moving forward with a vote.

Another item that was tabled is the pairing of several Charleston County schools.

"Its a big business and we have to balance it you can only spend what you got and we have to find a way to do that we will do what we have to do but it won't be a lot of fun," Fraser said.

"I think we should have support of the children here in Charleston County schools. We need to support our kids and that's why I'm here," said parent Lonnie Hamilton.

Hamilton said that he hoped there would be more input from parents in the process.

The board is supposed to make a final decision on budget items by Feb. 28.

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