The Horry County Board of Education formally approved the 2015-16 budget and elected a new permanent superintendent Monday night.
Rick Maxey, who has been the acting superintendent for six months, was unanimously approved as the permanent superintendent for Horry County Schools.
Maxey is under a 3-year contract with an annual salary of $210,000. His full contract was not available Monday night.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and I look forward to the future,” Maxey said. “I plan to continue to offer opportunities to our students …We want them to be ready and prepared, as far as career opportunities.”
The board elected Maxey, previously deputy superintendent, as interim superintendent one week after Cindy Elsberry resigned in November. At the time, they said the district veteran would be the acting chief for six months and they’d evaluate and determine whether to make the post permanent. That decision was announced Monday night. No other candidates were sought.
Maxey has been working at Horry County Schools in some capacity for 26 years. He was executive director for secondary schools from 2006-11, and principal of Conway High School from 2000-05. He served as principal of Carolina Forest High School from 1998-2000, assistant principal at Loris High School from 1996-98, and has roots as an English teacher in Horry County.
His knowledge of board processes and experience with the district makes him a good fit for superintendent, John Poston, District 8 representative, said.
“If you feel the district has been successful, then you have to believe Rick has been a part of that success,” Poston said.
Maxey’s contract can be extended at any time over the next three years, board Chairman Joe DeFeo said. Maxey’s salary is based on other S.C. superintendent salaries, DeFeo said.
The board also gave unanimous final approval to the 2015-16 budget, which includes funds to build five new schools and a 2 percent salary raise for regular staff.
The board held a public hearing on the budget Monday, but nobody signed up to speak.
The budget is about $91.9 million above last year’s budget, but most of the proposed budget’s increase comes from the school building fund, which requires an extra $72.9 million during the 2015-16 fiscal year.
The total cost of the school building project is $451.6 million, to build five new schools and renovate two others over about 10 years.
Millage rates levied by the district will stay steady at 133.1 mills, which means no change to the taxpayers.
“I feel extremely good about the budget,” DeFeo said. “We’re not raising taxes this year despite budget crunches, and any year you keep taxes low is a good year.”
The budget includes a 2 percent raise for all regular staff; employees eligible for a step increase will be given that increase but not the 2 percent raise, Gardner said. All staff not eligible for a step increase will receive the 2 percent raise instead.
The increase will be in effect every year. The cost for each employee to receive a raise is $1.2 million, Gardner said
The 2015-16 proposed operational funds total $459.5 million, John Gardner, chief financial officer for the district, said.
Gardner said the budget allows for a $17.8 million unassigned fund balance by June 30, 2016, which is money the district can spend on anything.
Contact CLAIRE BYUN at 626-0381 and follow her on Twitter @Claire_TSN.