BY BRUCE MILLS
By regulation, Sumter College District can not use federal stimulus funding it has obtained related to COVID-19 to present workers bonuses or raises.
That has been a supply of some confusion locally over the past a number of months, and district Chief Monetary Officer Jennifer Miller tried to make that time clear as she started the district’s proposed 2021-22 basic fund finances and millage improve request presentation to Sumter County Council on Tuesday.
So far, the district has been allotted about $31 million in emergency aid funding within the final 12 months from the federal authorities to deal with the influence COVID-19 has had — and continues to have — on the native faculty system.
Very like with many authorities grants today, there are particular allowable classes the place these emergency funds might be spent, and across-the-board wage will increase isn’t one in every of them, Miller mentioned.
“These funds are strictly regulated on what they are often spent on,” she mentioned. “For instance, we will’t use these funds to only enhance operations within the faculty district. It must be one thing that if it weren’t for COVID-19, we wouldn’t even want to purchase. Subsequently, we will’t use it for wage will increase. We are able to’t use it for straight across-the-board bonuses for our workers. We’ve got to spend it within the allowable classes that the state has mandated.”
One instance of an allowable class for spending is with the district’s four-week summer time faculty program that begins in early June for some college students because of the pandemic. Academics will probably be paid $50 per hour and college paraprofessionals $30 per hour for that point as a result of they in any other case wouldn’t work throughout the summer time months.
Partially due to the varied restrictions, the district is asking for a 2-mill improve, or about $374,000 in extra funding, from county council for subsequent 12 months’s finances. The funding can be used to assist help a small wage improve — usually 1% to 2% — to the district’s nonteaching workers, akin to custodians and food-service employees.
GRADUATION TICKETS PER STUDENT
Class of 2021 graduating seniors are every receiving 4 tickets now for the district’s three in-person commencement ceremonies in early June. Final week, the district introduced the rise from two to 4 tickets per pupil due to the continued shifts in COVID-19 tips. Masks and bodily distancing measures will nonetheless be in place for the excessive colleges’ ceremonies which might be all deliberate for Sumter Memorial Stadium, 1965 Stadium Highway, which is the district’s largest out of doors facility. Everybody in attendance on the ceremonies, together with mother and father and members of the family, will probably be required to put on a face masks, in response to the district.