Superintendent tries to fix Hampton County School District 2 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hampton County School District 2 Superintendent tries to fix problems

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HAMPTON CO., SC (WTOC) -

Hampton County Council members will take the first vote on whether to help Hampton County School District 2 with its financial troubles.

The district currently owes $2.1 million dollars and has been overspending its budget since 2008.

Dr. Beverly Gurley started the job as Hampton County School District 2's Superintendent back on July 1st, 2012.

She said she wasn't aware of the district's financial problems when she first took office but says she's been trying to fix them.

"Our current budget now, we cut that budget $1.2 million, we moved the monies around and moved people around into these funding sources so that we would not be taking and using the district's funds to pay for these resources," she said.  

Dr. Gurley said one area the district is cutting back on funding is its food services program.

"We are about 97% free and reduced lunch so the district should be generating its own funds to pay for the staffing and cover the cost of food service."

For the upcoming school year, the district is going to combine some classes together after noticing that student enrollment dropped but the district didn't reduce its staff.

As for the $2.1 million dollars deficit, Dr. Gurley said it deals with a TAN—"Tax Anticipation Note." School districts commonly use TANs at the beginning of the year to carry it through until it receives its county tax dollars.

But in this case, Dr. Gurley said the 2013 TAN was used to pay off the one from 2012 without any reserve funds available.

Aside from requesting a $1 million loan from the county, the district is also planning to take out a $1 million general obligation bond to pay it off.

From now on, Dr. Gurley says she will be taking a more active role in holding people accountable when dealing with the district's finances.

But she hopes the county will help them during this difficult time.

"We all are one community and we all must come to the rescue of our children," said Dr. Gurley.

The county will hold its first reading on School District 2's financial situation at 6pm at the County Administration Building.

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