February, 2018 – Issue #6
PEP Talk: A Brown-Bag Series – Come build your knowledge about economic mobility in Greenville on February 28th at the United Way of Greenville. The Greenville Network for Southern Economic Mobility will be presenting at our noon luncheon. To register for the event, sign up here. Additionally, I visit many SIC and PTA groups in Greenville County to talk about legislative issues facing local schools. Invite me to your next meeting!
Steve Hairston, MBA
Agency & Advocacy Director
Legislative Update – In the House, the Ways and Means K-12 Subcommittee began reviewing budget provisos to include new provisos and changes to existing provisos as recommended by the S.C. Department of Education and the S.C. Education Oversight Committee and staff. The state Board of Economic Advisors is projecting about a $292 million growth in state general fund revenues and an estimated $39 million growth, plus $7.6 million surplus in Education Improvement Act (EIA) funding in 2018-19.
Some other notable budgetary news:
- The House Ways and Means Legislative Subcommittee sent to the full committee a bill to codify the exceptional needs tuition tax credit program (H. 4077).
- SC Department of Education (SCDE) has made the following recommendations to the K-12 subcommittee:
- would like to see a $125 increase to the Base Student Cost (BSC), which would increase it from $2,425 to $2,550 (the governor recommended a $10 increase),
- $44.8 million to increase the beginning teacher salary to $32,000 for educators with 0 to 1 year of experience and to provide a 1% increase in teacher salaries for all classes and years of experience as part of a larger request for an overall 2% increase in teacher salary (other 1% funded from EFA),
- $5 million in recurring dollars to add to the current $5 million for the purchase, lease of school buses,
- $188,475.08 increase to support STEM, personalized learning and competency-based learning environments.
Bills of Interest – There is much discussion and debate in both chambers’ education committees of bills seeking changes to our education system. The House Education K-12 Subcommittee sent to full committee a bill directing all schools administer a universal screening for students in kindergarten through second grade three times a year (H.4434). A similar bill (H.3414) identifies and addresses dyslexia screening in students kindergarten through second. Additional bills requiring metal detectors in every school (H. 4386), statewide school uniforms (H. 3050), or requiring posters in all public and charter schools that provide information for reporting incidents of child abuse (H. 3050). These and many other bills of interest are available for you to follow and engage.
Facts and Figures – What do you know about our education system? How are schools funded? What is the average teacher salary in Greenville? What percentage of our school children are performing above benchmarks? You can find these pieces of information in our Facts & Figures section.