BAMBERG -- Bamberg School District 1 will receive more than $1 million dollars as part of the 2014 S.C. Supreme Court's Abbeville Decision related to education equity.

Superintendant Phyllis Schwarting said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman confirmed the district will receive $1.16 million to spend in fields related to health, safety and a focus on education. Schwarting made the announcement at the Bamberg School District 1 Board of Trustees' November meeting.

The total is about $200,000 less than the $1.3 requested by the district, she said.

 Thirty-nine school districts sued the state more than 20 years ago for providing an unequal education. The Abbeville Decision finally came in November 2014, when the S.C. Supreme Court found that the state had failed to provide a “minimally adequate” education for its poorest school districts.

Schwarting reported that Bamberg 1 plans to use the money to replace the gym floors at the middle and high schools and install permanent safety pads at the end of each gym. Retractable bleachers will be installed at the high school.

The ceiling, external doors and frames will be replaced at the middle school. Security cameras will be installed throughout the gym and the school, and the school will be connected to the district’s HVAC energy control system to increase energy efficiency.

The middle school education class will also be remodeled to include equipment such as a stove, refrigerator and washer and dryer needed to teach student life skills. In addition, equipment on the cafeteria serving line will be upgraded to insure the food is kept at proper temperatures. Generators will be installed at both schools to protect food during power outages.

Also, additional security cameras and GPS tracking systems will be installed on buses.

In other business, the board gave second and final approval to four policies including Policy IHBA, which is related to special education programs. It states that students who reach age 18 are entitled to make decisions about their own education if they are qualified to do so.

These students can, however, delegate their rights to an adult they trust, or a guardian may be appointed to help them make decisions.

Also approved was Policy KLGA, which states that the school resource officer has jurisdiction to protect district students across the state when they accompany them on school trips.

 The board also voted to suspend its December meeting. The trustees will next meet on Jan. 15.

Contact the writer: dalealtman1950@yahoo.com.

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