CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston County School District board member is proposing that board members receive a purchasing card where they can spend up to $800 dollars a month on expenses relating to board member duties.
If passed it could cost taxpayers $86,400 a year. District officials say the money would come from the General Operation Fund.
The proposal was on the Committee of the Whole meeting agenda.
Kevin Hollinshed brought up the proposal that he says was introduced by another board member last year but didn’t pass. Hollinshed deferred the proposal and requested that it be moved to the finance committee meeting next month.
It’s s an effort to relieve school board members of the financial burdens associated with serving their constituents effectively.
“In the past to be honest, people that sat on the board had their own businesses or they were wealthy so they didn’t need it,” Hollinshed said."We’re attracting your working class people now to the board."
Hollinshead says if passed, it couldn’t go into effect until next year and that they might look at a proposal of lowering the amount to $500 per month.
The proposal says expenses to be considered include WiFi, office space, travel, meetings, district events and other “reasonably incurred expenses.”
“You can buy kids pizza in the schools for doing good, take your constituents to lunch stuff like that,” Hollinshed said.
CCSD is the second largest school district in the state and among districts with the lowest compensation. Right now board members can receive $25 per meeting they attend and some mileage compensation.
“Charleston County School District has to come to the 21st century as far as board compensation like other commissions and councils,” Hollinshed said. “We don’t have health insurance. County Council, Beaufort County School Districts other areas have those kind of indemnities so we kind of got to bring this thing around.”
Some people who live in Charleston County believe if extra funds are going somewhere it should be for the teachers and students.
Hollinshed says he deferred the discussion in today’s Committee of the Whole meeting to be able to get more support.
“It’s just something to help buffer that bridge so you can serve your constituents better, that’s all,” he said.
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