Charleston Co. school district approves $ 12.4 million increase for teachers



CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The Charleston County School District has approved a general operating budget of $ 618.3 million for the 2021-2022 school year, including more than $ 12 million for teachers. The school board adopted the plan at the meeting held on Monday.

Among the changes from last year is a series of increases for teachers. Teachers can expect a step increase as well as a state-mandated salary increase of $ 1,000. In addition, a 1.2% increase in COLA is expected to come into effect.

Jody Stallings of the Charleston Teacher Alliance says the increases are good news for teachers who have been on the front lines of pandemic education over the past year.

“Charleston County teachers were in these classrooms every day and it took a lot of courage. It took a lot of work, a lot of effort. We’ve had to adjust to a lot of things and I think it probably has a lot to do with their desire to pay teachers, ”Stallings said.

The increases are expected to total $ 12.4 million. At Monday’s town hall meeting, CCSD chief financial and administrative officer Donald Kennedy said the state would have to pay about half of the $ 4.7 million it will cost to give teachers the salary increase. $ 1,000.

“Well I think they did a good job for the teachers. I think this district has recently shown a real concern for teachers and eager to compensate us fairly for the work we do, ”Stallings said. “So we were very, very happy that they chose to give raises.”

CTA pushed the CCSD to add additional salary steps to the salary scale to help teachers with more than 25 years of experience. The new budget creates a 26th step and potentially paves the way for several more in the years to come.

“The step increases end at about 25 years old. This puts a lot of teachers, even sometimes 50 years old, in a bad situation where they are not looking for another raise for the duration of their careers. We just don’t think it’s very fair, ”Stallings said. “We were very happy that the district is committed to increasing this.”

This final budget has changed slightly from previous versions as projections have changed over the past few months. The current budget is about $ 5 million more than its first version in May. Despite an expected drop in enrollment of 833 students, the budget is $ 32.3 million more than last year’s budget.

The budget provides for a tax increase of about 3% for some businesses and some homeowners. You can find the full budget presented at Monday’s meeting here.

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