Read this first paragraph of the press release published tonight right after the school board meeting. And I do mean, right after the meeting. The press release was published to media at 8:02pm. The District couldn't even show the courtesy of waiting until tomorrow to send it. Obviously, it was written before the meeting!
Why didn't the Board take under advisement the administration's proposal and think about spending $9,950,000 for a couple of week???
"COLUMBIA, S.C. — At the March 23, 2021 board meeting, the Richland School District Two Board of Trustees approved the administration’s proposal to allocate the $11.3 million surplus from the Fiscal Year 2019-20 General Fund Budget. The allocations include:
· a one-time bonus of $1,580 to all full-time permanent employees and $789 to all part-time permanent employees (roughly $1,000 and $500 after taxes, respectively). The estimated cost of this investment is $6,450,000, which includes related fringe.
· a one-time transfer of $3.5 million for the Building Fund to help lessen the impact on taxpayers for the funding of annual capital improvement expenditures."
The District had collected that $6,450,000 from the taxpayers and other sources of income. Rather than either holding onto it as a future reserve or refunding it to "those what brung it in the door", the District leadership and the School Board chose to provide a bonus to employees.
This smells like the decision in Congress to give $1,400/week to Federal employees who stay home while their kids are not in school. YOU won't get $1,400/week, but the Federal employees will. For how many weeks? And that's in addition to the $1,400 Stimulus check(s).
What kind of responsible fiscal management is that?
An $11.3 million surplus can vanish in a heart beat (or one good disaster).
Richland 2 needs more people on the Board who understand financial management. Right now, there are at least five who do not.