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Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3 spent $1.3M in last weeks
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Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3 spent $1.3M in last weeks

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Officials of Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3 spent $1.3 million in the waning weeks of the district’s existence.

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The countywide board decided it won’t let employees accrue as much “leave” time as District 3 had allowed. So the District 3 board decided to pay its employees in cash for the leave days that they accrued but won’t be able to keep in the new district.

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Next, at the May 23 meeting, the board voted to award bonuses to all regular full-time employees, long-term substitutes, bus drivers and “shadows.” The estimated cost was $503,802. At the June 11 meeting, the board was informed that the actual amount paid in bonuses was $545,775.50.

At the same meeting, the board authorized the purchase of 62 interactive smartboards and 182 computers at a cost of $435,440.

Additional grant money was used to replace 35 outdated or malfunctioning interactive smartboards. Each of the elementary and middle schools received multiple smartboards.

The school board also allocated $50,000 per school – for a total of $300,000 – for principals to purchase various items on their “wish lists.” Some principals stocked up on supplies for the 2019-2020 school year. Others bought sound systems. The Elloree principal used some of the money to repair fans in the gymnasium.

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The board also spent about $11,000 for new signage and a reception associated with the naming of the stadium at Lake Marion High School & Technology Center in honor of longtime superintendent Dr. David Longshore Jr.

District 3 officials have been busy on the revenue side as well. They arranged a sale of timber for $40,000. They also netted $14,439.60 by selling shares of stock in two companies.

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The board also gave a parcel of land to Providence United Methodist Church. Many years ago, the property was used as a teacherage – a residence for teachers. At some point, its owners “gifted” the property to the district. Recently, the church sought to purchase the property from the board. The board decided instead to give the property to the church as a gift.

At the June 11 meeting, district business manager Gail Sanders gave her final monthly report to the board. She said total revenues, year to date, were $25,698,436.65 and total expenses were $26,300,775.10.

The board concluded its “last” meeting with an executive session closed to the public to discuss amending the district’s policy on “board member compensation and expenses.”

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The board then called a special meeting on June 19 and discussed in executive session a second timber sale – it fell through – and a matter titled “superintendent’s recognition” that the superintendent said she knew nothing about.

Upon returning to open session, the board approved a motion to give Superintendent Dr. Jesulon Gibbs-Brown a plaque and monetary gift in recognition of her work over the last five years.

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