Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2022

First Reading of Proposed FY 23 GCS General Fund Budget

In a Special Called Meeting at the J. Floyd Hall District Office, the Greenville County Schools Administration presented its proposed FY 23 General Fund Budget for first reading.  A second and final reading of the $789,524,000 proposal is scheduled for June 6, at 6:30 p.m.  A public hearing at 6 p.m. to allow community members to comment on the budget proposal will precede that meeting.

Projected Revenue – Local Funding: Current local tax millage for the General Fund is 143.2. Per Act 388, no taxes are collected on owner-occupied homes to support the General Fund budget, but School Boards can raise millage on other property (businesses, cars, motorcycles, etc.) based on a formula built to meet inflation and population growth. Based on this formula, the GCS Board has the authority to raise millage 9.0 mills to meet inflation and growth for next year. Additionally, the Board has at its disposal an additional 14.9 mills in carryover from previous years, bringing to 23.9 mills the total taxing authority available for FY 23. Of those mills available to the Board, 5.7 are left over from FY20 and will lapse if not levied this year, due to a three-year expiration period included in the law. This budget includes a proposed increase of 4.5 mills. The proposed FY 23 General Fund Budget projects local revenue of $258,503,000, including the recommended 4.5 mill increase.

Projected Revenue – State Funding: A new education funding model is being proposed for South Carolina. The State Budget has not been finalized, and two proposals are currently working their way through the State legislature. There is a version that has been approved by the Senate, and another version that has been approved by the House. The final version of the budget will be determined by Conference Committee. The projected revenue from the state included in the first reading of the FY23 General Fund Budget is based on the Senate’s version of the budget, which is $365,832,000.

Expenditures – Notable new expenditures in the budget include:

  • $2,000 increase to every cell on the GCS teacher salary schedule, which results in entry-level teacher salaries starting at $44,566
  • A step increase for all teachers and adding a step for teachers at the top of the schedule
  • All other eligible employees will receive a step. If the step is not valued at a minimum 3%, it will be adjusted to equal a 3% increase. Employees not eligible for a step will receive a 3% increase.
  • Minimum entry level pay for any district jobs at $15.00/hour
  • Final step of a multi-step process to move bus driver salary schedule to two rates
  • Addressing the internal inequities of principal pay and external competitiveness of assistant principal pay
  • First step of a multi-step process to decrease the student to counselor ratio at elementary level to 400:1
  • Personnel for growth to meet the estimated increase of 1,200 students next school year
  • Funding to meet the required employer costs related to healthcare and retirement for employees
  • Funding to further enhance school security measures
  • The expansion of the A.R.M.E.S. program

“This proposed budget reflects that our investment in student success is dependent on the teachers and other employees who are educating and supporting students each and every day. Public education is a critical component of a healthy society, and we need people to see that education is a profession that is not only rewarding but also allows them to support themselves and their families in this economy,” said Dr. Burke Royster, Superintendent of Greenville County Schools.

A complete list of proposed new expenditures is available below:

Potential Expenditures Due to State Mandates: The items shown below are mandated through legislation and total $21,515,000.

Teacher Salary Step

$5,902,000

Teacher Certificate Upgrades (i.e. bachelors to masters)

1,310,000

State Health Employer Contribution Increase

6,622,000

State Retirement Employee Contribution Rate Increase

6,592,000

Bus Driver State Mandated Increase

1,089,000

Langston Charter Formula Increase

622,000

Total

$22,137,000

Additional Expenditures under Consideration: The following items totaling $45 million reflect priorities needed to meet local requirements of the Education Plan for FY 23.

Increases Associated with Student Growth

$3,679,000

Fountain Inn High School (Expansion to Include Grade 10)

1,747,000

Special Education Teachers 

827,000

Speech Language Therapists 

207,000

Occupational Therapists 

195,000

School Psychologists 

175,000

Induction and Mentoring for First-Year Teachers 

69,000

Greenville Alternative Teacher Education (GATE) Program 

260,000

Special Revenue Fund - Students at Risk of School Failure

7,471,000

Special Revenue Fund - Aid to Districts

2,109,000

Interpretation Services

60,000

West Greenville - Culinary Skills Sessions with Greenville Technical College

11,000

Mastery-Connect Graphing Calculator Software Add-on

29,000

Field Trip Request Software

30,000

Google Suite

324,000

Career Center Certifications

20,000

Marching Band Uniform Allocation

50,000

Increase Band and Orchestra Instrument Allocation

50,000

Arts Reaching Middle and Elementary Schools (A.R.M.E.S) Program Expansion

106,000

Digital Classroom Management

187,000

Teacher Observation Software

92,000

Increase for Instructional School Materials

142,000

Teacher Salary Schedule Increase

13,786,000

Add Step 34 to Teacher Salary Schedule

174,000

Non-Teacher Salary Schedules Step Movement - Minimum 3%

6,210,000

International Teacher Fees

268,000

Increase Homebound Rate to $30/hr.

56,000

Adjust Elementary Counselor Allocation

1,302,000

Bus Driver Compensation for Years of Experience

133,000

Adjustment to Bus Driver Schedule to Two Rates

897,000

Reclassify Computer Technicians

105,000

Increase Assistant Principal Scheduled Work Days

519,000

Adjust Principal Salary - Internal Equity

820,000

Adjustment to Support Schedules for Minimum $15/hr. Rate

1,326,000

Coaching Supplements

326,000

Recruiting for Virtual/Online and Hourly Workgroups

46,000

Upbeat Principal Engagement and Retention Survey Annual Cost

27,000

Cost Increases for Existing Service/Supply Contracts

714,000

Audio-Visual Technician 

92,000

Building Services Specialist 

99,000

Security Enhancements

700,000

Total

$45,440,000

Total Proposed Budget  - $789,524,000


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