Board of Education Refinancing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/24/02

Board of Education Refinancing

Many people refinance their homes...today the board of education made the move to refinance school bonds, which it says will help save more than a million dollars, but that really isn't too much when you look at the big picture.

As kids get ready to hit the books, the school board is trying to ensure those books are always up-to-date by saving money any way it can.

"We're expecting to see a budget deficit meaning, less money from the state for four years," said superintendent John O'Sullivan. The difference is $10 to $15 million less each year, which is why the school board refinanced its school bonds.

Board president Diane Cantor said, "We're obviously doing everything we can on all fronts, whether it is how we invest our money or how we spend our money."

While refinancing school bonds will save the board of education $1.6 million over the next few years, O'Sullivan says it just isn't enough. It doesn't even come close to what the county will get for tax collection each year.

"They're going to take $3 million a year from us to cover their bills," said O'Sullivan, "when in fact the real cost is one half a million dollars."

And while school board members hope state lawmakers will help get the tax-collection law changed, they are also looking at saving money other ways, like selling educational property they aren't using, so they can save jobs.

"We use human beings to do our job and we can't replace them with a computer," said O'Sullivan, "so when we start to cut back, we start to take jobs."

The board will be meeting with its financial advisors and looking at other ways to save money, without jeopardizing the education of Chatham County's children.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro

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