Horry County school programs could see cuts

By A.J. Ross - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – With next year (FY 2011-2012) expected to be an even tougher budget year for the Horry County School District, school board members are now planning ahead and weighing their options.  District Superintendent Dr. Cindy Elsberry presented a list of potential programs that could be cut or see reductions Monday night; and among the list were dual credit courses which would include the early college high school.

The early college high school allows students to simultaneously earn their high school diploma and college credits from Horry Georgetown Technical College.  The Horry County School District helps pay for these college credits, which is why Elsberry says this program and many others are still on the table for consideration.

"When I placed dual credit courses on the list I did not intend for the early college program or the scholar's program to be affected," explained Elsberry.  "But we don't know what the future will bring."

The district is anticipating an additional $17 million dollars in cuts next year with stimulus money and state funds running out.  If the district does not increase taxes, Elsberry says the school board will have no other choice than to make deep cuts in some areas.

"We're looking at such huge amounts of money to reduce the budget we actually have to inspect everything, I think the public expects us to do that." said Elsberry.

With the 2010-2011 school budget still waiting final approval on June 7th, the board will have ample time to review the list of potential cuts for next year.  But Elsberry admits whatever the board decides, no decision will be easy.

"The list I gave to the board was real painful because none of that was really acceptable to me or to the community," she said.

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