DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester School District Two wants to hear from parents and members of the community on next year’s budget plans.
As district officials work to solidify budget plans for next year, they say several new plans are in the works. DD2 CFO Tina Meunier says the district will be hosting a public input session to discuss these plans at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Meunier says the district is looking at about a 10% increase in the number of teachers they typically hire. She says this is possible thanks to the emergency relief funding for elementary and secondary schools recently received from the federal government.
“So that there can be a smaller amount of students in the classroom for the teachers to be able to place more of an emphasis on student learning,” Meunier says.
This increase in teachers could also come with an increase in substitute teachers. Meunier says they brought on one permanent substitute teacher at each school when the district returned to in-person learning, and they want to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.
The district also plans to once again allocate a couple million dollars to Personal Protective Equipment for next school year. Meunier says the COVID relief funds coming in from the federal government help pay for this increase in costs.
But Meunier says unfortunately there’s one thing they don’t have enough funding for.
“We’re second from the bottom in the amount of revenues we get per PUPIL out of all the 79 school districts,” Meunier said. “So unfortunately we don’t have a lot of additional revenues to put towards salary increases for our teachers, unfortunately.”
Another plan Meunier says is up for discussion is the new Beech Hill Middle School being built behind Beech Hill Elementary. While the school is expected to open in the Fall of 2022, it will also be covered in the DD2′s Wednesday meeting.