School district budgets across the state are still seeing the effects of recent budget shortfalls. The second largest school district in the state, Charleston County, is dealing with its budget, without raising taxes or cutting teacher positions.
Monday night, the Charleston County School Board voted 9-0 to approve a $329.5 million general operating budget for classroom expenses and salaries, and a $78.9 million debt service budget for construction costs. School board member Arthur Ravenel says neither one of these budgets involve tax increases for residents. Ravenel defends his stance on the board’s vote.
You just don’t raise taxes or raise salaries in the middle of a fairly severe depression, that’s just not done. All those wonderful teachers that we have, they all have jobs. There’s I think like 12.5 percent statewide that don’t have any jobs at all. We were able to hold the line on taxes along with county council, and the City of Charleston, and North Charleston, and Mt. Pleasant.
The budget just passed in Charleston calls for 10 furlough days for all 12-month employees, and five days for all other employees, which includes teachers. Ravenel says trimming has to be done somewhere.
The administration that we have in Charleston is fat. All the public school administrations are fat. You try to trim those salaries, they just go absolutely bananas.
The good news, and what Ravenel says could shine a light on the rest of the state, is the Charleston County School District budget doesn’t affect class sizes or cutting teacher positions.
Charleston County has nearly 43,000 students and 77 schools.