Greenville Co. Schools approve proposed budget; includes tax inc - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville Co. Schools approve proposed budget; includes tax increase, teacher raises, heightened security

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The Greenville County School Board of Trustees approved a general fund budget for the upcoming school year Monday night.

The board approved the proposed FY 19 General Fund Budget by an 8 to 4 vote during the budget’s second and final reading.

It includes a tax increase that would generate more than $6 million.

Per school officials:

“The FY 19 budget is balanced, as required by policy, and reflects revenue and expenditures totaling $620,240,000.  Considering the projected growth in student population for FY 19, the recommended budget equates to a cost of approximately $45 per day, per student, for the 180 days that comprise a school year.  The district operates 245 days each year.  The proposed budget is based on the Senate version of the State budget, which is not yet finalized.”

In South Carolina, school funding “is to be a shared responsibility between the State and local taxpayers”, the release continued.

Officials say, the bulk of the new expenditures are for employee compensation.

“This includes a State-mandated step on the salary scale for all teachers and a 1% raise to each step on the teacher schedule, which will generate an average salary increase of 3.29% for teachers eligible for a step.  For all other employees, including our most experienced teachers at the top of the salary scale, the administration included a 2% cost of living salary increase.  A 2% raise will be help employees respond to inflation over the past 12 months (2.13%), and meet higher deductibles, co-pays, and prescription drug costs.”

In addition, the budget also includes the following:

  • required additional employer contributions for State health, dental, and retirement funds
  • positions added to the General Fund Budget for student growth
  • expansion of Rudolph Gordon School into middle grades
  • hiring of a principal in advance of the opening of Fountain Inn High School
  • additional special education personnel to better serve students

Officials say, school safety is also a topic of concern in the recommended budget, which includes a “heightened presence of Zone Patrol Officers in schools without a School Resource Officer, additional money for criminal background checks for volunteers, and four School Safety Specialist positions to monitor and enhance security drills and protocols at the district’s more than 100 facilities.”

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