District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties, South Carolina
|Transparency grading process|
The district serves more than 16,600 students from the Columbia communities of Irmo, Chapin and Ballentine.
Last rated on July 10, 2012.
- Administrative officials are listed with contact information in the directory.
- School board members are listed with contact information.
- Meeting schedules, minutes, agendas, and audio are available.
- Academic performance reports are available.
- The current budget is published, along with one year's previous budget.
- Annual financial audits are posted.
- Salary schedules are posted.
- Spending transparency reports are posted.
- Application procedures indicate that all candidates go through State Law Enforcement Division background checks. The background check policy is included in School Board policies.
- The District's FOIA policy is posted. Contact details are provided for a FOIA officer. The site also posts previously received Freedom of Information Act requests and their responses.
- Revenue sources and totals are included in budget documents.
- Archived budget documents are not posted.
- Tax rates are not posted.
District 5 is one of the better-performing districts in South Carolina. In 2009, District 5 students registered a composite score of 1,519 on the SAT test, down from 1,537 in 2008. Still, the 2009 showing put District 5 among the top five of South Carolina's 85 school districts.
District 5 Problems
Within Lexington/Richland School District 5 there has arisen a history of distrust and divisiveness, according to The State newspaper.
In July 2009, the paper called for district officials to be forthcoming about even the tiniest of changes so the entire community - supporters and detractors - knows exactly what's going on.
"Considering the intense years-long fight to win approval of a school bond issue, it's no surprise that questions are being raised about the changes. Quite frankly, questions are in order."
In late 2008, a $243.7 million bond referrendum passed after failing twice previously. Among uses for the money, building new schools in the coming years.
However, critics contend that the District 5 School Board used badly flawed enrollment projections to justify the new schools - projections that showed the district growing anywhere from 300 to 800 students annually.
It was later revealed that that district enrollment is flattening, if not declining, despite claims made prior to referrendum vote.
District 5 has also seen controversy with its superintendents. In 2005, Dennis McMahon was fired by the district board.
A short time later, private investigators conducted a probe into a series of complaints filed against Lexington-Richland 5 school trustees who voted to fire superintendent Dennis McMahon.
At the direction of the school board, the district hired two former law enforcement officers based in the Charlotte area to look into charges that actions by some trustees were intended to intimidate employees who supported McMahon, according to The State.
McMahon's successor, Scott Andersen, resigned in July 2008.
In August 2008, it was reported that Andersen's wife had filed for divorce in Richland County, accusing the former superintendent of adultery with "one Melissa Cole."
"The paperwork does not specifically identify her as such, but Cole is the principal of District Five's River Springs Elementary School," WIS reported.
Andersen was replaced on an interim basis in 2008 by Herb Berg. Berg's interim salary was $163,950, but that jumped to $195,000 after the bond referrendum passed and represented an increase of nearly $24,000 over what Andersen was earning when he left three months earlier.
Also, it was revealed that former District 5 administrator Lee Bollman, who went from being the district's chief instructional services officer to splitting time teaching science at a pair of district schools this year, was able to retain his lucrative salary.
Bollman is earning $136,128 annually, according to the S.C. Midlands Salary Database,making him the district's third highest-paid employee. In addition, his benefits equal 28 percent of his salary, meaning Bollman’s total compensation is nearly $174,250.
|Ellen Baumgardner||Lexington||Ends November 2014|
|Robert Gantt||Richland||Ends November 2012|
|Jan Hammond||Lexington||Ends November 2012|
|Kim Murphy||Richland||Ends November 2014|
|James D. Turner, Jr.||Lexington||Ends November 2014|
|Beth Hutchison Watson||Richland||Ends November 2012|
|Ed White||Richland||Ends November 2014|
District 5 publishes its annual budget on its website.
|Expenditures by Category|
|School Year||Staff Expenses||Student Services||Operational Expenses||Debt Service||Other||Budget Total|
|Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget|
PASS (Palmetto Assessment of State Standards)
Federal law requires students in grades 3-8 to take a state test based on state academic standards.
The table below shows the percentage of students in the Lexington-Richland 5 School District who met or exceeded the state standard in 2010 and 2009.
|PASS||Writing 2010||Writing 2009||English 2010||English 2009||Math 2010||Math 2009||Science 2010||Science 2009||Social Studies 2010||Social Studies 2009|
- ↑ Directory
- ↑ School board
- ↑ 
- ↑ Academic performance
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Budget
- ↑ Financial reports
- ↑ Salary Schedules
- ↑ Transparency
- ↑ Certified Application Procedure
- ↑ Criminal Record Check
- ↑ Freedom of Information
- ↑ Who to Call
- ↑ Responses to Freedom of Information Act Requests
- ↑ 2009 SAT Results, S.C. Department of Education
- ↑ "district%205"%20AND%20forthcoming%20AND%20date(2009)&p_field_date-0=YMD_date&p_params_date-0=date:B,E&p_text_date-0=2009&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=("district%205"%20AND%20forthcoming)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no/ District 5 Must be Open, Accountable in Making Changes, July 7, 2009, The State
- ↑ Frustration with Lexington-Richland 5, July 15, 2009, The Voice for School Choice
- ↑ District 5 Seeks Changes Without Public Input, Jan. 10, 2010, The Nerve
- ↑ Chapin Changes Backed Without Public Review, Jan. 13, 2010, The Nerve
- ↑ Investigators Probe Complaints Against Some District 5 Trustees, Aug. 26, 2005, The State
- ↑ Lexington-Richland Five Superintendent Resigns, July 31, 2008, WIS
- ↑ Court Papers Outline Split Between Former Superintendent and Wife, Aug. 12, 2008, WIS
- ↑ Berg Rewarded with Big Raise After Referendum, Jan. 27, 2010, The Nerve
- ↑ District 5: Home of the $136K Teacher, March 5, 2010, The Nerve
- ↑ Midlands Salary Database
- ↑ District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties, "2013-2014 Proposed General Fund Budget," accessed November 26, 2013
- ↑ Lex5 PASS
State of South Carolina
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