Audit, special bus transportation committee on Sumter school board’s agenda – Sumter Item

The district’s official audit report and the formation of a special transportation study committee headline Sumter School District’s Board of Trustees’ regular monthly board meeting scheduled for Monday.

A district staff member placed the agenda online Friday for the media and public’s use and the board chairman spoke.

In the district’s monthly financial report from November, Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Miller projected the district will have a $5.7 million change in its fund balance for the 2019 fiscal year, lifting its general fund to $14.3 million, effective June 30, 2019.

The district’s outside auditor, Mauldin & Jenkins LLC, will present the official audit report and if there are no significant findings in the report, the district will be lifted from its fiscal emergency declaration sometime in 2020. The $14.3 million is well above one month’s operational expenditures, which the district is required to have in its general fund by state law.

Chairman Ralph Canty said the board is also expected to appoint likely three trustees to a special ad hoc committee to study the district’s bus drivers’ issues.

Last month 15 to 20 district drivers held out of work for a week, protesting for higher pay. About 25-30 drivers also attended the Nov. 18 board meeting, and some spoke on the topic during the public participation period.

Canty said the committee will look into all sides of the issue, values its drivers, and would like to potentially raise wages, but it can’t do so at this time because it’s operating within a state-ordered multi-year financial recovery plan that was approved by the state Department of Education.

“We are certainly sympathetic to the concerns of our drivers,” Canty said. “But, we find ourselves in a position where we have fiscal constraints that will not allow us to do as we would like to do at this moment.”

Canty added the committee is likely to see what other districts and other states are doing in order to better serve the district.

Like all board-related meetings, Monday’s meeting is open to the public and public participation is also listed on the agenda. The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the district office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road.


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