Governor's veto of school funding bill holds

Gov. Mark Sanford's veto of a bill to allow the Georgetown County School District to borrow money in 2010-2011 school year for operating expenses, will stand.

The Senate voted 1 to 1 today to override the veto, and the measure failed. In a local bill, only the local senators vote. In this case it was Sens. Ray Cleary and Yancey McGill.

Cleary said last week he planned to vote against the override the veto because the district would be able to balance the upcoming year's budget without having to borrow the money.

He said the district might want to save their bonding ability for the 2011-2012 year when the state will face a $1.2 billion shortfall.

State Reps. Vida Miller and Carl Anderson introduced the bill. It was designed to be used only in case of emergency in case the state unleashed more cuts while the general assembly was out of session.

In South Carolina, school districts are limited in their ability to raise funds. Under Act 388 districts can not collect property taxes on owner-occupied homes for day-to-day operational expenses like teacher salary and textbooks.

The state provides funding to the schools with sales tax for operating expenses.

The Georgetown County School Board decided Tuesday night to cut 17 jobs and eliminate some teacher incentives like tuition reimbursement and eliminating the teacher resource center in order to balance the budget.

If the state comes back with more cuts, the district could be forced to increase class sizes, dip further into their reserve fund, furlough employees and eliminate supplements for National Board Certified Teachers.