$2.2 million increase in state funds on tap for Beaufort County schools

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comJune 28, 2012 

The Beaufort County School District is set to receive nearly $2.2 million more than last year in state funding as part of the budget passed Thursday by the S.C. legislature.

The increase, which would come mainly from funding-formula changes championed by Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, could offset the proposed property-tax increase called for in the district's 2012-13 budget.

About $1.3 million of the increase is already factored into the budget, district chief of operational services Phyllis White said. But the Board of Education has said additional money from the state beyond that amount could reduce or eliminate the need for a tax increase.

The district's $177.9 million budget -- which includes buying iPads for classrooms, eliminating 30 positions and giving teachers a state-mandated 2-percent raise -- was approved Monday by County Council.

The budget includes a property-tax increase, which would amount to about $30 a year on a non-owner-occupied home valued at $250,000.

The school board might adjust the budget July 17 to reflect the higher revenue, superintendent Valerie Truesdale said. County Council will set the tax rate in August.

Truesdale called the increase in state funding "wonderful."

"We have people making a valiant effort in the Statehouse to make sure Beaufort County is recognized," she said. "We've not been paid attention to for quite awhile; we've been overlooked."

Davis said the increase is due to changes in how money is allocated through the state's Education Funding Act and Education Improvement Act.

About $1.3 million of the increase comes from EFA money; historically, the school district has gotten little to none of this funding.

Davis said in an email he's confident the funding changes will stay in place in future years.

The state budget now heads to Gov. Nikki Haley's office for her signature. Davis said the changes to education funding will likely stand.

Related content

  1. Council approves school district's budget, tax increase; June 26, 2012
  2. Beaufort County School District's iPad plan clears another hurdle; June 11, 2012
  3. Beaufort County Council members warm to schools' iPad plan; June 4, 2012
  4. Beaufort County school board's tax-increase proposal meets some opposition; May 21, 2012
  5. Beaufort County school board passes budget that includes iPads, calls for tax hike; May 18, 2012

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