School board approves budget, outsourcing food services during lengthy meeting

Updated: Jun. 4, 2019 at 7:45 AM EDT
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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The Florence School District One school board approved a controversial food service management contract, along with the 2019-2020 budget during Monday night’s school board meeting.

The approvals came after a lengthy executive session and almost two hours of board members going back and forth on outsourcing the food service department.

Before the school board meeting, district officials held a short public hearing on the $157 million budget.

Rusty Brunson, assistant superintendent for finance, gave a further breakdown of the budget. He reported 92.7% of the budget will be spent on teaching, transportation, supervising and counseling students.

The district will also get $3.2 million from the state to help fund teacher pay increases.

The school board meeting drew a bigger crowd forcing officials to move it to the Poyner auditorium.

Half of the crowd was the district’s food service staff all concerned about the future of their department.

Although district officials have repeatedly reassured employees their jobs aren’t in jeopardy, James William, who spoke on behalf of the group, said that doesn’t make them less worried.

“Our food service workers have been employed for years and years and years and no other administration had any real problem with them and we don’t believe that this superintendent has probably been here long enough to have found the kind of problems that would facilitate the kind of changes that’s he’s recommending,” Williams said.

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