The Brunswick County School Board rescinded their previous decision to return to a traditional schedule Tuesday afternoon.
The board voted three to two to keep the staggered schedule.
Board member Charlie Miller made the motion to keep the existing schedule citing finances and community concerns. On May 14 the board had voted to go back to a traditional schedule.
"I'm tired of it. We have jerked around enough. I take full responsibility for that, and I'm sorry. I think this is a fiscally right thing to do, but if you want to blame anybody, you can blame me," Miller said.
If the county had gone with the traditional schedule, it would have cost an additional $1.75 million.
Superintendent Edward Pruden said he believes the board made a great decision.
"I hope the community will understand, that sometimes public officials need to reconsider a decision and that they will respect what they have done today," Pruden explained. "Their Board of education is trying to maximize the use of every taxpayer's dollar, and at the same time continue to provide them with excellent service."
Miller also made a motion to dismiss schools 15 minutes earlier so elementary students wouldn't get out too late. The board passed that motion with a vote of 4 to 1.
The start times for all of the schools will remain the same, but the dismissal times will change. Schools will operate on the following schedules:
Pruden said parents can be assured that there will be no more changes.
"Well we made the decision today, early June and we have all summer to communicate it to folks, and I think that they can rest assured for the foreseeable future," Pruden said. "I also believe that they will understand that when you get new information in the millions, that the responsible thing is to reconsider."
Brunswick County Schools also has a hiring freeze on all positions except teachers. Pruden said it could be another month before the county knows how much money they will get from the state, so they don't want to hire people that they may not have money for.
The return back to the staggered schedule helps, but Brunswick County still needs millions to fund their capital improvement plan to build new schools and to renovate old ones. The top priority projects are North Brunswick High School classroom additions, Leland Middle School classroom additions, Waccamaw Multi Purpose facility and Waccamaw Gym facility. These projects total $113,670,895.
Voters turned down a bond referendum in May. The Board will continue to discuss the proposal of another sales tax referendum on the November ballot.
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