Chesterfield County School District Superintendent Harrison Goodwin told members of the school board last week they’ll simply have to “stay tuned” to see what kind of budget cuts and/or demands the South Carolina legislature will place on local school budgets for the upcoming 2013-14 school year.
“The legislature has done nothing at this point,” Goodwin said. “It’s not a cheery picture. And it’s going to be challenging at best.”
“As to what we’ll end up doing toward security measures,” Goodwin said, “it’s hard to predict that as well. We don’t know whether we’ll have concealed weapons on campus or what we’ll be asked to do.”
Goodwin also said, during a recent meeting of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, there was overwhelming support across the state for placing resource officers in every school, not just the middle and high schools. Guns, however, if the administrators voices are heard, would never be allowed in a teacher’s or other staff member’s hand, regardless of their personal knowledge or training, said Goodwin. Professionally trained resource officers, through law enforcement, would be the only people allowed still on campus with any type of weapon.
Budget hearings, or deliberations, have not yet begun for the Chesterfield County School District, but Goodwin included a request with February’s monthly report to add three new positions to next year’s salary budget. The positions include Executive Director of Administration and Student Services, Special Education Curriculum and Grants Coordinator, and Computer Technician.
Salaries for executive director positions in Chesterfield County range from $75,319 to $102,819 a year. Coordinator salaries range from $55,319 to $82,819 a year. The computer technician salary was not specified, but Goodwin said it would be less than $50,000.
The board voted unanimously to approve the superintendent’s request for these positions, adding a minimum of approximately $200,000 to the already uncertain budget for next year.
The board also agreed to give the lights at Hartman Ball Field in Jefferson to the Dixie Youth Baseball and softball teams. The property, which belongs to the Chesterfield County School District but currently leased to the Town of Jefferson, is used only for daytime practice as the lighting system is too old and dangerous to operate.
“We would like to take the lights down, repair them and have them moved to our new ball field at the Jefferson Recreation Complex on Ogburn Drive,” said Tommy Catoe, president for Jefferson Dixie Youth.
The system is in such a bad state,”the lights have the potential to fall,” said Goodwin. “I suggest we accept their offer instead of having to pay to have them removed.”
The Jefferson Dixie Youth program will continue to maintain the Hartman ball field for daytime practices.
The next school board meeting will be held Monday, Mar. 11, at Chesterfield High School. The open session begins at 4:30 p.m.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.