The board of trustees passed the general budget for Greenville County Schools’ next fiscal year on Monday, June 15, after a second reading.
Superintendent W. Burke Royster said the budget cycle was “a year of great uncertainty.” He recommended a budget with no millage increase due to the pandemic’s economic effects on local businesses and spending decreases that include allocation freezes for $5.6 million, postponing the CTE Innovation/Incubation Center ($10 million), and making the teacher distributing formula different for the second to fifth grades.
“In all, the administration identified $55.6 million to be reduced or held in anticipation of potential revenue reductions this year and next,” the district’s spokesman, Tim Waller, said in a statement.
Funding levels for South Carolina schools will stay the same as the current year, Waller said, due to the state’s budget resolution.
“Despite this, because of student growth that was higher than expected this year and expectations of 1,000 additional students next year, the district expects an approximate increase of just under $10 million in state revenue,” he added.
Greenville County Schools expects an increase in local revenue after an increase in the value of the operational millage.
The budget does not include salary increases for any employee groups aside from mandated increases when teacher certificates are upgraded.
The district’s budget includes the following —
New expenditures for FY 21 mandated by the State totaling $4,354,000:
- $1.5 million salary increase for teachers who upgrade their certificates (i.e. move from Bachelor’s to Master’s),
- $674,000 mandated to re-enroll working retirees in the District’s PEBA health insurance coverage,
- $1.5 million in a required State Health Employer contribution increase, and
- $755,000 to increase working retirees salaries from 95% of the posted salary schedule to 100%, if the scheduled ending of SC Statute 59-25-57 is upheld.
Additional identified increases based on local needs totaling $8,289,000:
- $4 million to meet projected student growth
- $502,000 to hire 6.5 special education teachers to meet the regulations of IDEA
- $867,000 to complete Rudolph Gordon School’s expansion from a K-5 school to K-8
- $295,000 to hire new positions needed to prepare for the opening of Fountain Inn High School in the fall of 2021
- $155,000 to hire two positions to meet growth in career and technical programs in the areas of mechatronics and machine tool
- $193,000 to hire positions needed to open Roper Mountain Science Center’s new Environmental Science and Sustainability Center
- $75,000 for additional instructional materials
- $334,000 to restore working retirees’ negotiated salary – support personnel
- $46,000 to hire Roper Mountain Science Center Animal Caretaker and additional Security
- $252,000 Increase in SRO’s contracts (based on hourly rate change implemented last year by Sheriff’s Office)
- $1,500,000 projected cost of additional cleaning related to COVID-19 (both time and supplies)
Preparing for Potential Revenue Reductions totaling ($55,600,000):
- $5,600,000 Items in the budget will be held or frozen (not distributed) in case the money is needed for other priorities. (The board of trustees requested that 30% of their professional development budget also be frozen for the upcoming budget year in solidarity.)
- $17,600,000 CARES Act one-time funding
- $15,000,000 General Fund – Fund Balance (planned expenditure to maintain high bond rating)
- $10,000,000 Delay the Innovation and Incubation Center
- $6,800,000 Estimated Additional Fund Balance Available at close of FY 20
- $695,000 Shift in allocation formula at which class are added in grades 2-5 (from 2 over to 2.3-2.5 over)View Greenville County Schools finance website