New DD4 budget highlights pay raises, more program funding
ST. GEORGE, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester District Four is looking to raise pay for all employees and expand some extracurricular programs for students for this upcoming school year.
Superintendent Jeff Beckwith said the district has a $30 million operating budget in place that includes a 1% raise and bonuses worth thousands for all employees.
“It’ll range from $2,000 up to probably $3,500 based on their area of certification and what we’re looking for,” he said. “We’ll do an additional stipend in December, halfway through the school year.”
Beckwith said a priority for the 2023-2024 budget was expanding extracurricular activities for their students.
The new year includes basketball and soccer programs for elementary schools and more funding for coding and STEM programs.
“Making sure our fine arts programs, our stem programs and really trying to build a foundation that’s going to be at the elementary level all the way up to the middle school and the high school,” Beckwith said. “We had great success with our drone program that competed at the national level.”
Beckwith says the new year will also come with security upgrades for all campuses.
Last year, the district implemented metal detectors at all schools. They plan to go further this year with a badge entry system for employees.
“To get into our schools, just making sure it’s a little more secure in that sense, so each of our schools are going to be going through that transition this summer,” Beckwith said. “Our new middle school is going to have that. We have that here at the district level, so we’re going to start pushing it out to our existing buildings.”
The superintendent also said he is “pretty confident” they will have the funding and equipment necessary to start streaming their public meetings online beginning this school year.
By comparison, Dorchester District Two’s budget for the upcoming school year is $260 million. Both school districts said there will be no tax increases as part of their respective budgets.
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