Greenville County Schools Board of Trustees Approves General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2025

Books, apple, and various school supplies on a student desk.
Element5 Digital / Unsplash

The Greenville County Schools Board of Trustees approved the proposed FY 25 General Fund Budget by an 8-4 vote following a public hearing and the budget’s second and final reading.

Debi Bush, Michelle Goodwin-Calwile, Ann Marie Middleton, Glenda Morrison-Fair, Angie Mosley, Anne Pressley, Chuck Saylors, and Carolyn Styles voted to approve the motion. Amanda Brett, Jeff Cochran, Sarah Dulin, and Lynda Leventis-Wells voted against the motion to approve.

The FY 25 budget is balanced, as required by policy, and reflects revenue and expenditures totaling $922,256,000. The budget is based on the State’s proposed budget, which is currently in Conference Committee.

A major focus of the budget is to increase salaries for employees to address inflation, and remain competitive in recruiting and retaining the best personnel in all positions. The budget includes a step increase and an additional $2,700 per teacher cell. All other eligible employees will receive a step. If the step is not valued at a minimum of 3.5%, it will be adjusted to equal a 3.5% increase. Employees not eligible for a step will receive a 3.5% increase. To make that investment in teacher and employee salaries and in order to meet the needs associated with growth and inflation, the budget includes an increase of 1.5 mills, which is significantly below the total taxing authority of 35.5 mills available to the Board this year. District Administration reduced the proposed millage increase from 3.8 mills at the First Reading to 1.5 mills at the Second Reading due to the projected value of a mill increasing and providing an additional $4,106,000 in projected revenue.

In South Carolina, school funding is set up to be a shared responsibility between the State and local taxpayers. However, under the current State law Act 388, taxes for school districts’ general funds are not collected on owner-occupied homes (primary residences) to support the General Fund Budget. Instead, they are collected on other property such as businesses, cars, boats, etc. This results in the value of the operating mill being 38.7% less than the value of a mill if it included owner-occupied homes.

“This budget reflects a priority by the Greenville County Schools Board of Trustees and Administration to attract and retain the highest quality teachers and staff in an increasingly competitive environment,” said Dr. W. Burke Royster, Superintendent of Greenville County Schools. “We know that the quality of teachers and staff within our schools has a direct impact on the achievement of our students, and we must continue to invest in their collective success and the future of our community.”

Expenditures – Notable new expenditures in the budget include:

  • $2,700 increase to every cell on the GCS teacher salary schedule
  • A step increase for all teachers
  • Adding a step for teachers at the top of the schedule, resulting in a top pay of $104,665
  • Entry-level teacher salary of $50,503
  • Increase District minimum hourly pay to $16.08
  • Step increase for all eligible non-teaching employees at a minimum of 3.5%
  • 3.5% increase for all non-teaching employees not eligible for a step
  • 5% increase for school nurses
  • Funding for student growth
  • Funding to meet the required employer contribution for health insurance
  • Permanent substitute teachers at all schools
  • Increased resources for students with disabilities and multilingual learners
  • Base funding to support school-level student activities
  • Arts and athletic supplements/athletic support funds

A complete list of new expenditures is available below:

Potential Expenditures Due to State Mandates: The items shown below are mandated through legislation and total $14,420,000.

Teacher Salary Step $6,928,000
Teacher Certificate Upgrades 1,139,000
State Health Employer Contribution Increase (July 2024 – Dec 2024) 1,261,000
State Health Employer Contribution Increase (Jan 2025 – June 2025) 5,092,000
Total $14,420,000

Written by Greenville County Schools.