$38 Million Gift

$38 MILLION CHECK -  State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman presented a $38 million check to the Saluda County Schools District from the State that will go toward facility upgrades. (Standard-Sentinel photo)

CHECK  CELEBRATION -  Among those celebrating  State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman presenting a $38 million check to the Saluda County Schools District were L to R, Dr. Kathy Coleman (School Board), Sen. Billy Garrett, Rep.Cal Forrest, Dr. Arlene Puryear (School Board), Jim Moore (School Board), Christy Corley Nichols (School Board), James Holloway (School Board), Sen. Shane Massey, Sharon Williams-Holloway (School Board), Supt. Spearman, Jeffery Jordan (School Board), District Supt. Dr. Harvey Livingston. (Standard-Sentinel photo)

Saluda Schools Gets $38 Million

  In perhaps the largest financial event in Saluda County history, State Superintendent of Education Molly M. Spearman announced a $38,000,000 contribution from the State of South Carolina to the Saluda County Schools District.
  The presentation was made Thurs., June 9, in front of Saluda Elementary School, formerly Saluda High School that was built in 1950.
  The money will go toward capital improvement projects at all schools in the district. The biggest project will be combining Saluda Primary and Saluda Elementary into one new school, which will be built on the old high school football practice field, facing Wise Road.
  Spearman, a Saluda County native and product of the District schools, said she has worked toward equalizing the school systems as much as possible since she took office.
  She said she knew the disparities in school systems, dating back to her days as a school teacher.
  “I was teaching in Chapin and had everything I wanted,” Spearman said. “Then we moved back to Saluda and I taught at Hollywood and Riverside.”
  Spearman said her classroom at Hollywood was a portable and she had to supply her own record player. At Riverside, she had to paint her classroom.
  “It’s amazing the difference in just 20 miles or so across the lake,” she said.
She said a  bipartisan effort by the S.C. Legislature put in $100 million in the state budget to go toward facilities at the poorer districts in the states. The Department of Education also contributed $40 million to the project. Announcements were made at Lee and Dillon school districts earlier this week.
  Spearman said Saluda County Schools is the 6th poorest district in the state, but wanted to emphasize the students here get a good education, citing her two children who are both graduates of Saluda High School and have done well in their adult lives.
  Spearman thanked Senators Billy Garrett and Shane Massey, and Representative Cal Forrest and Bill Clyburn for their support of the project.
  Garrett, Massey and Forrest all spoke at the press conference.  Clyburn was unable to attend.
  School Board Chairman Kathy Coleman thanked her neighbor, Spearman, and the legislative delegation for helping to make the $38,000,000 possible, and praised the work of District Superintendent Dr. Harvey Livingston, who she said worked 24-7 for the students of the District.
  Livingston also thanked those who made it possible, and said the rural students who often have to “get more for less” will greatly benefit.
  Livingston also thanked those in attendance, including Saluda Mayor Amelia Herlong and Town Council members, County Council members and county officials, County legislative delegation, school board members, school administrators, teachers and the press.
“With school facilities approaching 100 years of age, it is long overdue that the state provides financial support for counties like Saluda which cannot afford to build new facilities on its own,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “With the generous support of the General Assembly, we are pleased to be able to provide the additional funding that these districts need to provide safe, state of the art facilities that students, families, and educators need and deserve.”
  “Today marks an extraordinary moment in history for Saluda County residents, especially our students and educators who have needed safer and more desirable facilities to teach and learn in for quite some time,” said S.C. Representative Cal Forrest who represents District 39 in the General Assembly. “I am excited for the state’s investment in our County and look forward to seeing the lasting impact it will have on generations to come.”
  “This investment by the State will help us provide the resources that our students and teachers have needed for decades,” said Dr. Kathy Coleman, Chair of the Saluda County School District Board of Trustees. “Superintendent Spearman’s dedication to our rural school districts is unprecedented and she continues to fight for education for all children in South Carolina.”
  “We are extremely grateful for the investment made by the State of South Carolina to improve the educational environment for our students, teachers, and community,” said Dr. Harvey Livingston, Superintendent of Saluda County School District. “We commend Superintendent Spearman’s leadership in her continued fight for improvements in public education, especially in rural districts such as ours.”

May Returns To Average

  After a big rainfall in April, May’s figures returned to normal.
  The May rainfall totaled 3.34 inches, bringing the year’s total to 17.13. This compares to 19.23 inches that fell during the same time last year.
  May’s temperatures were warm. The temperatures ranged from a high of 68 on May 9 to 95 on May 20. The lowest morning temperature, 46, was recorded on May 10.
  This information was reported by NWS observer Edwin Riley at the Saluda CPW.