School Board Adopts Budget - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/23/03

School Board Adopts Budget

It's been a tough road, but the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education has finally adopted a new budget. And many school programs they once thought would have to be eliminated have been saved...at least for now.  Yhe board gets money from the tax digest every year, and while it anticipated a 2.8 percent increase over what it got last year, it's more than double that, about $3 million it was not counting on.

The additional $3 million adds up to total budget of $20 million. After months of bickering and debate that continued today, the school board voted to approve the budget, but Superintendent John O'Sullivan was reluctant to give board members any praise.

"I have real strong reservations about what we did," he said. But he expressed willingness to work with it.

Most of the fighting over the budget was about the TAPPS program for teenage mothers and the Beacon afterschool program. Both programs will be funded next year, but after that they will have to show better results.

"The majority of the board didn't get what they thought they were gong to get," said Prince Jackson, president of the NAACP. "The community didn't get quite all that they wanted to get. After all, compromise is part of the whole process."

But not everyone was willing to compromise. Board member Janie Fowels was not happy with majority rule on this issue.

"It is not adequate, it's not what I really wanted and I am not willing to vote to compromise," she said.

Reported by: Ron Wallace, rwallace@wtoc.com

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