OCSD faced with 3 budget scenarios; final plan depends on lawmakers | Local

The Orangeburg County School District faces three different budget scenarios for the next fiscal year as officials still don’t know what the final state budget will look like.

“We’ve heard a ton of stuff, even down to the actual revenue projections,” said OCSD Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster.

It’s even possible lawmakers will approve a continuing resolution, which means the district will have to operate on its current budget until a final state budget is developed, he said.

The OCSD Board gave two readings to its proposed overall budget for 2022-2023. The final reading of the budget is scheduled for June 14.

The new fiscal year begins on July 1. If the state hasn’t approved a budget in time, the district will pass a budget, Foster said. If anything then changes at the state level, the district will change its budget in accordance with the state budget.

State lawmakers are considering different teacher compensation plans.

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A house plan would increase eligible teachers’ salaries by $4,000. This would raise the minimum starting salary for a teacher from $36,000 to $40,000.

The district estimates that this plan would put its $1.4 million year-end general operating fund balance in the red.

House members added an additional $50 million for public education after some districts said they would need more funding to pay for mandatory increases.

The district would end the year with about $3 million in the black without the $4,000 teacher pay raise.

The SC Senate is proposing a $2,000 salary increase for teachers. The district would see a positive year-end balance of approximately $178,000 in this scenario.

The Senate version of the budget increases teachers’ starting salaries to $38,000, though senators argued that districts should still have money to add to those increases if they choose.

Trustees gave a second reading to the general fund budget expenditures proposed by the district under three proposals. The administrator, Dr. William O’Quinn, objected.

The revenues according to the three scenarios are the same: 131.5 million.

• $47.4 million in local revenue

• $22.3 million in state reimbursements

• $51.1 million in public funds

• $350,000 miscellaneous

• $10.3 million in transfers, including indirect costs for food services and federal funds

All three spending plans take into account state-mandated increases, including teacher salary increases of $4,000 in the House version and $2,000 in the Senate version; an experience-based salary increase for teachers and all employees; an 8% increase for bus drivers; a 1% increase in the cost of retirement for the employer; and an 18.1% increase in the cost of employer health insurance.

The state also plans to increase its funding for school supplies from $275 to $300 per teacher.

The expenditures foreseen in the proposed budgets include:

• $72.4 million in salaries

• Hourly increase of 68 cents for bus drivers


TheTandD.com: $1 for the first 26 weeks

• An experience-based salary increase for eligible employees, but no $4,000 increase for 841 teachers

• $32.4 million in employee benefits

• 18.1% increase in health costs for employers

• 1% increase in employer pension costs

Total expenditures: $128.5 million

• $75.8 million for salaries, including a $4,000 salary increase for 841 teachers

• Hourly increase of 68 cents for bus drivers

• An experience-based salary increase for eligible employees

• $31.2 million in employee benefits

• 18.1% increase in health costs for employers

• 1% increase in employer pension costs

Total expenditures: $132.9 million. This budget would put the district’s fund balance of about $1.4 million in the red.

• $74.4 million in salaries, including a $2,000 increase for teachers

• Increase in the hourly rate of 68 cents for bus drivers

• An experience-based salary increase for eligible employees

• $30.9 million in employee benefits

Total expenditures: $131.7 million. This budget would put the District’s fund balance of approximately $178,000 in the black.


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