Small school districts consider merging to cut costs
BAMBERG, S.C. (AP) — School districts in rural South Carolina counties could merge in an effort to save money and take advantage of millions of dollars in state funds.
The Post and Courier reports districts have a Thursday deadline to submit preliminary consolidation plans. At least six districts in Bamberg, Barnwell, Clarendon and Hampton counties are eligible because they have less than 1,500 students each.
Consolidated districts could request money from $12.5 million set aside for expenses and $37.5 million designated for renovations or new construction.
The goal is to cut overhead costs, but opponents fear that won’t happen. Critics say the state funds are not enough to cover the cost of consolidation.
Blackville and Williston school board members agreed Tuesday to proceed with a merger. Summerton and Turbeville schools also plan to merge.
Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com