"Cuts" Code for "Keep Spending" in Aiken
The Aiken County School Board is bemoaning the loss of state funding, even as they pull the trigger on renovations, school expansions and new hires. After all, what says "budget cuts" like a few costly building projects?
There doesn't seem to be a logical disconnect for the Aiken School Board.
After learning that the district would be losing about $670,000 in supplemental funding from the State, board members began immediately looking for a way to maintain spending. This meant swapping funds around to keep heading full steam toward school pay raises, hiring three new curriculum coaches, hiring a career and technology education position, and a also a new technology department staffer. Not to be held back by financial loss, the Aiken School Board also approved a $107,000 project to build a new entrance and retention pond for one school, and received design ideas about an $8 million expansion project for other schools.
This wouldn't be the first time Aiken School District has complained about financial losses that could "affect classrooms," even while pursuing expensive building schemes. Back in 2010 the district indignantly pointed out the harm being done to classrooms because of budget cuts, and then promptly started pushing a $236 million bond referendum to start new building projects.
Even though the $670,000 loss to the district represents about .003% of Aiken's than $219 million budget (as of 2011-2012), the idea that education officials respond to news of cuts with a continued spending frenzy shows an incredible disconnect from the world most taxpayers have to live in.