School Board Approves Resolution to Issue Bonds for New School

By: Jeremy Handel, Staff Writer

The Spartanburg County School District Four Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution to issue and sell general obligation bonds to finance the new high school construction at their October meeting.

The approved resolution is the first of several steps on the road to issuing up to $100 million in bonds for the construction of the new school, which will accommodate the expected growth in the district. The new school will also allow the re-organization of the other grades at the existing school buildings to free up space for all grades.

The resolution gives the district the official approval to begin developing, issuing, and selling the bonds. 

Superintendent Dr. Rallie Liston told the board that upon approval of the resolution that district officials were set to meet with bond rating companies to get the bonds officially rated. The better the rating of the bonds, the easier they are to sell.

The district has not announced its intention to sell the bonds all at once or in small increments as expenses are incurred. The resolution does provide for the use of any interest earned on bond proceeds to be used to pay principal or interest on the bonds.

In other business, the board heard the first reading of proposed board policy revisions. The revisions are recommended by the South Carolina School Boards Association and often are related to new legislation passed in the state. The Board will vote on the proposed changes after the second reading at their November meeting.

The proposed changes include items related to removing a board member from office, grading and assessment systems, display of flags and mottos, parent and family engagement, and public concerns and complaints about instructional resources.

Dr. Liston also reported to the board that the districts in Spartanburg County are reviewing a proposal that would help increase teacher pay in the districts to better compete with neighboring districts. This will help with the recruitment and retention of teachers in the district.

Currently, there is a county-wide assessment of property that all districts contribute to. That fund is then divided into a per pupil amount and redistributed to the districts. District Four benefits from this program as the per pupil distribution is higher than the amount the district contributes to the fund. The county districts are proposing an increase of two mills to this fund to be dedicated to teacher pay. The increases will target the areas of the pay scale in which county districts are not as competitive so that some levels will benefit more than others in this equalization of the salary scales.

“I think this will really help in attracting quality teachers to the county,” Dr. Liston told the board. “I’m excited that we’re committed to taking a look at this.”

With the increased milage, District Four will still benefit by receiving more of the distribution than the district contributes, and no tax increase on the residents will result from this action. The item is voted upon by a committee made up of all the board chairs in the county districts, who will review and vote on the issue at their next meeting.

In department reports, principals reported the following:

  • Woodruff Primary School honored their custodians in honor of National Custodians Day on October 3 and will be holding a food drive to benefit the Woodruff Soup Kitchen.
  • Woodruff Elementary School welcomed storyteller Tim Lowry who shared his folktales and stories from American history with students.
  • Woodruff Middle School shared the success of the athletic teams, including the undefeated football team and volleyball team, with only one loss.
  • Woodruff High School hosted the “Unity in the Community” at the September 23 football game, with booths from various community churches and organizations handing items before the game.

The District Four trustees meet on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the district office. The next meeting will be held on Monday, November 7, and is open to the public.

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