Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016-17 (FY 17) General Fund Budget - First Reading

The FY 17 Proposed General Fund Budget of $575,956,000 was presented for first reading to the Board of Trustees on May 18, 2016. The Board will consider approval of the General Fund Budget, including any revisions, at the Second Reading on Monday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m., which will be preceded by a public hearing at 6:00 p.m.

Proposed Budget - Key Points

The FY 17 Proposed General Fund Budget does not include a tax increase. There has been a sustained trend of higher millage value and corresponding property tax revenue. Also, the State Superintendent recommended and, although not yet having final approval, the SC House and Senate have approved a significantly higher base student cost, from $2,220 in FY 16 to $2,350 in FY 17. GCS greatly appreciates the General Assembly’s, Governor’s, and State Superintendent’s focus on public education funding.

Proposed key expenditures include a five percent increase for all employees on a salary schedule; bus driver salary modification schedule to allow drivers to move faster through the salary schedule; additional personnel in Special Education because of growth, inclusion, and to reduce travel time for students; additional teachers and other support staff due to growth; addition of 33.5 Full Time Employee (FTE) Elementary Reading Interventionists; first phase of rollout of funding for personalized learning devices; addition of an FTE at each high school to serve as Athletic Director; and additional financial resources for extra-curricular transportation, athletic field maintenance, gym floors, and band uniforms.

FY 17 Budget Summary

Total Operating Budget FY 17: $575,956,000

(Compare to FY16 $536,676)

No Proposed Tax Increase

Revenue: No tax increase requested

Two major sources for revenue increase:

  • Growth: there has been a sustained trend of higher millage value and corresponding property tax revenue.
  • Increase Base Student Cost: The State Superintendent recommended and the SC House and Senate have approved a significantly higher base student cost. ($2220 in FY16 to $2350 in FY17)  This increase for GCS is projected at $12 million.

Expenditures of Interest:

Additional Personnel: (FTE = Full Time Employee)

  • 13.5 FTE added in Special Education (because of growth and inclusion classes)
  • 10 FTE Special Education teachers/aides for bus ride time reduction (putting additional classes closer to students will decrease time spent on bus)
  • Growth in student population ($2.25 million for teachers and other support staff, projecting 500 additional students)
  • Additional clerical support for growing schools ($2.04 million, 51 FTE)
  • 33.5 FTE Elementary Reading Interventionists ($2.19 million, recognizing the crucial importance of students reading on grade level by the end of second)
  • Partial restoration of cuts to supply budget in FY08 ($292,000)
  • Personalized learning ($451,000, part of a multi-year combination of funding sources and implementation, funds to be used for devices and for employee training)
  • 5% pay increase for all employees on salary schedule
  • Bus driver salary modification (increases hourly rate and allows drivers to move faster along the salary schedule, necessary to hire and retain qualified drivers)
  • High School Athletic Directors (14 FTE positions allow all high schools to have a full time athletic director)
  • District providing additional financial resources for extra-curricular transportation, athletic field maintenance, gym floors, band uniforms

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