The Charleston County School Board approved, 6-2, it’s more than $320 million budget on Monday, with last minute additions for expanded magnet-style programs and recommended pay increases for teachers and administrators.
The changes are likely due to district operating costs no longer being funded through homeowner property taxes, due to statewide tax relief through an extra penny on the sales tax. It also doesn’t hurt that the district found an additional $3.3 million in state funding to pay for the additional programs.
The last minute additions included a proposal by board members Toya Green and Arthur Ravenel to provide teachers and resources at Memminger Elementary as well as North Charleston Elementary comparative to Buist Academy, the popular magnet school on Calhoun Street.
The district will also implement recommended salary adjustments, including $1.4 million for teachers and $350,000 for administrators. Superintendent Nancy McGinley said the salary hikes are necessary for the district to be competitive statewide.
The changes would also require the district staff to highlight 10 percent of next years budget for potential cuts and to plan a budget that replaces the district’s point system for allocating teachers and services with a per pupil spending formula.
“My hope is that, if the student moves, the money follows the student,” says board member Gregg Meyers.
Ray Toler and David Engelman voted against the budget. Brian Moody was not at the meeting.