The Clover School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $73 million budget that includes 10 new positions and an increase in property taxes.
Ken Love, assistant superintendent for business services, said with approval, budget changes still could come depending on the state budget and county tax reassessment, which still haven’t been set. The new school budget year begins July 1.
“This is based on best guess estimates,” Love said told the school board during the June 24 meeting.
Love said there were no changes to the 2015-16 budget that had been presented June 1 in a public hearing. At that meeting, several Clover school bus drivers pleaded for pay raises.
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The budget, which includes five new teaching jobs and five slots for staff or teaching positions, also includes the maximum property tax increase for operating expenses under state law of 6 mills. Love said it can be adjusted in the fall when the county sets the tax levy.
The school budget change raises annual property taxes on a typical business or second home assessed at 6 percent of value by $36 for each $100,000 of assessed value.
The increase would not affect property taxes for owner-occupied homes, under South Carolina’s Act 388, which replaced homeowner property taxes for school operations with a penny sales tax.
About eight Clover school bus drivers pleaded June 1 for pay raises, saying they are “really struggling.” Driver Angelia Neely, who said she earns about $10 an hour and pays for her own health insurance, said drivers can earn more money in North Carolina.
Love said the budget does not include that pay raise.
“We are studying it and analyzing how we compare to other districts,” he said.
Superintendent Marc Sosne said it’s not just bus driver compensation that is being considered by the district.
“We are looking at all categories of employees and how we compare regionally,” Sosne said. “We are looking at similar data to deal with everybody, not just one group.”
Changes from the 2014-15 budget include $300,000 for five teachers and $300,000 for teaching assistants to maintain the student-teacher ratio, $550,000 for technology costs, $40,000 for supplies and materials for new students and $15,000 for new football helmets.
Love said during the June 1 meeting most of the budget increases go toward salaries and fringe benefits, which cost $58.4 million. Other major costs include $2.5 million for utilities, $3.9 million for technology, $1.2 million for substitute teachers and $1.2 million for maintenance contracts.
estimated state revenue
Retiree Insurance 1,731,614
Property Tax Reimbursment
Tier III 9,665,782
Homestead Exemption 575,000
Bus Drivers 265,000
Total State Revenue 28,120,299
Frozen Amount 1,655,984
Local Taxes ‐ 6 mill increase 41,455,697
CW ‐ Taxes 3,388,391
Total Local Revenue 44,899,088
Total Estimated Revenue $ 73,019,387
Salaries & Fringe 58,460,414 $
Technology ‐ Apple Lease, etc. 3,900,000
Custodial & Maintenance Supplies 892,400
Maintenance Contracts 1,211,500
Other Instructional Items 4,107,073
Total Estimated Expenditures $ 73,019,387
Changes from 2014‐2015
Supplies & Materials for New Students 40,000
Football Helmets 15,000
Staff for Student/Teacher Ratio 300,000
5 Teachers for Growth 300,000