Audit, district rezoning of attendance lines before Sumter School District Board


The official audit report and a briefing from the superintendent on district realignment or the rezoning of school attendance lines lead Sumter school board's meeting set for Monday night.

Columbia-based Mauldin and Jenkins CPAs and Advisors, the district's independent auditor, will present the fiscal 2022 audit to the trustees, and new board Chairman Ralph Canty spoke briefly Friday on the agenda.

With monthly financial reporting and a full-time chief financial officer on staff, there likely will be no big surprises with the audit report. Last month, district CFO Shatika Spearman projected the district's fund balance for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, to be at $41.6 million for a positive change from 2021.

Related to realignment, the district's former school board passed an option by a 5-4 vote in April that would move about 2,500 students - or roughly 17% of district enrollment - to a new school beginning in the fall.

There was a provision that also passed that stipulated students in the highest grade offered at a grade-level school at that time - 12th grade, eighth grade and fifth grade - will not have to switch schools for the upcoming school year to minimize some of the immediate changes.

One of the common themes in district-wide rezoning was to move students from higher-enrollment schools in the City of Sumter to lower-enrollment schools in the outlying county areas.

The realignment process was met with considerable public debate, and with a seven-member changeover in the board since the November election, it is uncertain what action the trustees will take.

Canty said he expects new trustees will have a number of questions regarding rezoning on Monday for Superintendent William Wright Jr. He did not begin in his position until July.

Board committees' composition, among other items, are also listed on the agenda.

Monday's meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Sumter Career and Technology Center.

Like all board-related meetings, the meeting is open to the public. Sumter Career and Technology Center is located in front of Sumter High School at 2612 McCrays Mill Road.

For those not physically attending, the district continues to broadcast meetings live on YouTube and the district's Facebook page, @SumterSCSchools.