No opposition present at schools budget meeting
No members of the public spoke during a public hearing Monday about the Rock Hill school district's proposed budget.
The approximately $129 million budget includes money to open two new schools -- Mount Holly Elementary and Dutchman Creek Middle -- and to include new programs such as the Renaissance Academy, a school for suspended or expelled high school students.
It does not include money for additional physical education teachers or to expand programs at the Central Child Development Center, ParentSmart or the Phoenix Academy, all of which have waiting lists.
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The school board has struggled with ways to come up with enough cash for all of the district's needs. It likely will have to raise taxes on businesses and other non-homeowner occupied properties and borrow money from the general fund, which is like a savings account for the school district.
Part of the reason for the tight budget is a change in school funding at the state level, which replaced homeowner-occupied property taxes for schools with a 1-cent sales tax. The sales tax is divided up based on state population growth, which is much slower than York County's growth.
The school board plans to approve its budget June 23.
School district delays vote on gay-friendly club
IRMO -- A South Carolina school district has delayed until later in the month a vote on whether to ban all student clubs that don't relate to academics or sports as a way to close a gay student organization.
Vice Chairman Robert Gantt said Monday the Lexington-Richland School District 5 board was delaying its vote on whether to ban the clubs to get more public input.
Irmo High School principal Eddie Walker said last month he would step down at the end of the next school year because the Gay-Straight Alliance conflicts with his beliefs and religious convictions.
Officials had said the district couldn't stop the alliance from forming because federal law prohibits discriminating against a club based on its purpose.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network says there are about 4,000 gay-straight alliances at schools nationwide, including 16 in South Carolina.