Greenville Co. Schools Approves Teacher Salary Increase, Safety Improvements

GREENVILLE CO., SC (WSPA) — The Greenville County Schools Board of Trustees voted Monday night to approve a budget that includes general increases to teacher salaries.

The budget includes a $2,000 increase in every salary level for teachers in Greenville County. Entry-level teacher salaries will increase to $44,566.

The district said all teachers will raise their salaries one step along with all other eligible employees. If the step is not at least three percent or if employees are not eligible for a step, they will receive a three percent pay increase.

The minimum wage in the district will also increase to $15 per hour.

“So every teacher will see an increase of about 3% and some will go over that amount, when you add the $2,000 to the step, which is very important for our teachers. Extremely important to our other employees because we have increased our entry wage for our lowest paying jobs from $12.93 per hour to $15 per hour,” said Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster .

“Our board has been extremely supportive for a number of years, in fact we shared this information tonight – how we’ve gone from almost 30th in teacher pay, to first or two of the state,” Dr. Royster said. “Very attached to our teachers, to the importance of the work they do, but also very attached to the commitment, the dedication, the hard work of all our employees.”

The budget also includes $700,000 for improving security in the district.

The district plans to use a weapons detection technology system called “EVOLV”.

District leaders said $700,000 would cover things like staff to run it and software subscription. The board will need to discuss funding for the system itself at a later date.

“You’ll see that very soon – later this month,” Dr. Royster said.

Dr Royster said they were also considering other safety improvements.

“There are grants available through the state, as part of the governor’s and legislature’s commitment to developing school resource officers. Several of them have been approved this year. And we actually have six grants submitted to DPS now — the state Department of Public Safety, to fund resource officers for schools that don’t have a resource officer,” Dr. Royster said.

The district said that even with the nearly $790 million budget, taxpayers will see their taxes related to school operations drop by about 2%.

Greenville County Schools plans to add 1,200 students in the next school year.

“This budget shows the commitment of the board and administration to investing in our teachers and other employees, which we know is one of the most important factors in student success,” said said Dr. Roystert. “It is more important than ever to show that education is a profession that is not only a laudable business, but also a financially viable career.”

The board voted to approve the budget by a vote of 9 to 1.

Here is a breakdown of budget items:

Expenses due to state mandates: The items listed below are mandated by law and total $22,137,000.

Teacher salary scale $5,902,000
Teacher Certificate Upgrades (i.e. Bachelor’s to Master’s) 1,310,000
Increase in the employer’s contribution to state health 6,622,000
Increase in the contribution rate for state-retired employees 6,592,000
Mandatory increase in the condition of bus drivers 1,089,000
Langston Charter Formula Increase 622,000
Total $22,137,000
(From: Greenville County Schools)

Additional expenses: The following items, totaling $45 million, reflect the priorities needed to meet local requirements of the FY23 education plan.

Increases associated with student growth $3,679,000
Fountain Inn Secondary School (extension to include Grade 10) 1,747,000
Special education teachers 827,000
Speech therapists 207,000
Occupational therapists 195,000
School psychologists 175,000
Induction and mentoring for first grade 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
Excursion request software 30,000
Google suite 324,000
Career Center Certifications 20,000
Marching band uniform allowance 50,000
Increase allocation of musical instruments and orchestra 50,000
Extension of the Arts Reaching Middle and Elementary Schools (ARMS) program 106,000
Digital classroom management 187,000
Teacher Observation Software 92,000
Increase for school teaching materials 142,000
Increase in teacher salary scale 13,786,000
Add Step 34 to Teacher Salary Schedule 174,000
Step movement of non-teaching salary scales – Minimum 3% 6,210,000
International Teacher Fees 268,000
Increase in-home rate to $30/hr. 56,000
Adjust the allocation of primary councilors 1,302,000
Compensation of bus drivers for years of experience 133,000
Adjustment of the schedule for two-fare bus drivers 897,000
Reclassify computer technicians 105,000
Increase the scheduled working days for the Deputy Director 519,000
Adjust the main salary – Internal equity 820,000
Adjustment to support schedules for a minimum of $15/h. Assess 1,326,000
workout supplements 326,000
Recruitment for virtual/online workgroups and schedules 46,000
Annual Cost of Optimistic Manager Engagement and Retention Survey 27,000
Cost increases for existing service/supply contracts 714,000
audiovisual technician 92,000
Construction Services Specialist 99,000
Security enhancements 700,000
Total $45,440,000
(From: Greenville County Schools)

The Greenville County schools budget is based on the current version of the South Carolina Senate state budget, which has not yet been finalized.

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