School board passes second budget reading

By Greg Oliver

Courtesy The Journal

EASLEY — During a special called virtual meeting Monday, the Pickens County School Board approved second reading of a proposed $128.1 million general fund budget for FY ‘21 that marks a little more than a $1 million decrease from the current budget.

School district chief financial officer Clark Webb told trustees the proposed budget featured a few changes since first reading.

Included in those changes are the removal of a contingency for workers compensation and increase in property insurance, since the budget allocation will be sufficient for both of those insurance programs. In addition, the district will move to all registered nurses, which is the result of a five-year process and will allow for increased care and less moving of nurses as students’ medical requirements change.

The budget also says that given the current economic situation, district employees may experience qualifying events requiring the employee to expand his or her health insurance coverage to cover a spouse and or children — therefore increasing employer and employee cost.

“This has generally been revenue neutral, but economic conditions as they are could cause a disproportionate amount of employees to increase coverage,” Webb said, citing the job loss of a spouse as a primary example.

Webb said more than $21,000 has been set aside to offset the increase, but added that the number of employees impacted is impossible to determine.

Webb said the new fiscal year budget would retain the same millage of 108.9 mills as in FY ‘19-20 and feature no tax increase.

Third and final reading of the new fiscal year budget will take place May 26.