Aiken County school board OKs funds for athletic, band supplements

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Jul. 29—The Aiken County Board of Education approved an amendment to the budget that will fund athletic supplements and create band supplements.

The school board approved the amendments during its July 12 meeting.

During that meeting, Tray Traxler, the chief officer of finance for Aiken County Public School District, told board members that Aiken received an additional $2.36 million in funding from the state's budget. With those additional funds, Traxler presented several recommendations to board members.

"We're asking for consideration of increasing athletic supplement pay," Traxler said. "This is something that has been discussed in length. The second and final reading of the budget that was approved in June reflected one-fourth of the requested increase in athletic supplements based on the requests from athletic directors. This would increase that to 40%, which is the full request for athletic directors."

Supplements for band directors was something school board members had said they wanted throughout the budget process. With these additional funds, Traxler said the school district was proposing an increase in the number of high school assistant band director supplements.

"We had a band director representative here to speak to it and discuss the need for additional assistance on the band field," Traxler said. "We've proposed up to four supplements for our large high schools and up to two supplements for our 2A and single-A high schools, and part of that would be driven by the size of the band. So based on band participation."

Other recommendations were adding $750 to each cell on the teacher scale, OTPT and school psychologists. Traxler said those other positions are treated as teacher scales by the state.

There was also a recommendation to create an additional step 27, which is an additional step at the top of the teacher and ROTC scale.

"(As of the July 12 meeting) there are 172 teachers that are topped out (on the scale)," Traxler said. "Those 172 teachers would benefit from the 3.25% COLA adjustment, but they aren't a beneficiary of any step increase because they are topped out."

Traxler said there was also a request for the creation of a technology security administrator position, which he said was a high priority item earlier in the budgeting process.