Rock Hill school officials are considering ways to save money next school year that include eliminating positions, charging students to play sports and cutting thousands of dollars in teacher bonuses.
School board members are scheduled to discuss these options and others at a Monday evening meeting. The board will not vote on anything, Rock Hill schools Superintendent Lynn Moody said.
"My intent is to get input and some direction," she said.
School systems across the state are wrestling with how to manage with less money. In a succession of sweeping spending cuts, South Carolina has carved roughly $334 million from public education since July.
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Rock Hill schools, according to district figures, have lost nearly $6 million.
The school system earned more revenue than expected in some areas and thus has enough cash to offset the bulk of that loss, associate superintendent Bill Mabry said. With that, the district is still short roughly $1.6 million and could dip into its $23 million reserve fund to make up the loss. Board members likely will discuss that Monday.
While the school district has trimmed costs to manage this school year's cuts, next school year could bring stark changes.
"My concern isn't this year," school board member Jim Vining said. "It's next year. At this point, I think it's a guessing game about how much money is going to be cut."
Among the options for next school year that could be discussed Monday:
• Freezing salaries for all employees.
• Eliminating relocation and signing bonuses for new employees.
• Eliminating the $3,000 annual bonus teachers receive for earning certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
• Charging students a fee to take part in athletic programs.
• Eliminating positions.
• Not hiring any new teachers and letting class sizes grow.
"It's going to be tough," Vining said. "The money's not there."
So far this year, Rock Hill schools have trimmed costs by:
• Eliminating overtime for employees;
• Reducing consulting services;
• Cutting back on hiring;
• Cutting department spending by 5 percent;
• Restricting employee travel;
• Reducing printing.
Monday's school board meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at Belleview Elementary School, 501 Belleview Road, Rock Hill.