Horry Co. School Board revisits budget options

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The countdown is on for administrators in the Horry County School District to balance next year's budget with $11 million less in state funding.

A large number of teachers, staff and parents gathered for an Horry County School Board meeting Monday night, as officials addressed how they're coping with another tight budget year. Close to 120 positions and larger class sizes are on the chopping block as board members work to consolidate district operating costs.

"It's the same challenge that people have in their individual homes," said Jeff Riddle, chief financial officer of Horry County Schools. "As those costs that are harder to control go up, you have to find other places to cut."

One of the greatest changes district officials say they'll implement for the 2010-2011 school year lies in the classroom. Larger class sizes are expected at all middle and high school levels.

While some parents believe the move will cause some students to fall through the cracks, Riddle says there isn't sufficient data to back up the claims.

"There isn't a lot of data that says increasing your class from 25 to 26 should have an impact on student achievement," Riddle reassured concerned parents.

Others, like Vaugn Stanaland, believe the district will do a good job monitoring the progress of all students.

"I think in the context of everything that has to be done to keep the school systems whole and functioning, well, it's probably the best thing they could do," Stanaland said.

The Horry County School Board is scheduled to revisit the 2010-2011 budget on May 17. Parents will also have the opportunity to express their opinions and concerns to board members.

The final budget must be approved by June 7.

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