Clover school leaders join in raising teacher pay above SC, national average

Schools in the York County region are raising teacher pay, and Clover is no exception.

The Clover school district has proposed increasing starting teacher pay to $40,075 for 2019-’20, said Ken Love, assistant superintendent of business services. The increase, at a cost of $600,000, is included in the district’s proposed $93 million budget, Love said.

“That makes us very competitive with where we are,” Love said Monday during a public hearing on the budget.

Currently, a Clover teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience makes $36,160, while a teacher with at least 26 years of experience and a doctor’s degree makes $82,411, according to the district.

Clover’s new salary is above the national average of $39,249 and the South Carolina average of $33,148, according to 2017-’18 average starting teacher salaries provided by the National Education Association.

South Carolina lawmakers gave final approval in May to a $9.3 billion state budget that includes a 4% pay raise for teachers and sets the starting teacher salary at $35,000, reports The State newspaper. Gov. Henry McMaster still needs to sign the budget into law.

Compared to other schools

Clover’s increased pay is just behind Fort Mill, where new teachers will make a minimum of $40,250 in 2019-’20, according to Fort Mill school district leaders.

The Rock Hill school district is raising the first-year teacher salary to a minimum of $39,899, The Herald previously reported. The district also announced May 30 a $1,000 bonus for certified staff and a $500 bonus for all support staff, to be paid in the fall.

First-year teachers in Chester County will make a minimum of $38,851 starting in 2019-2020, according to the district.

York Preparatory Academy, a public charter school in Rock Hill, approved raising new teacher pay to $40,000, The Herald previously reported.

In Greenville County, one of the state’s largest school districts, a teacher with a bachelor’s and no experience currently makes $35,755 and the highest paid teachers with a doctor’s degree and at least 30 years of experience makes $84,981, according to the district.

Greenville County served in 2017-’18 75,471 students, according to the district report card released from the S.C. Department of Education.

In Charleston County, which had 48,937 students enrolled as of its 2017-’18 state report card, new teachers currently make $38,258 and the highest paid teachers with a doctorate degree and at least 30 years’ experience make $78,432, according to the district.

Clover budget highlights

  • Clover is proposing a tax increase for 2019-’20. The increase will amount to $18 more a year in taxes on a $100,000 business, said Superintendent Sheila Quinn. Tax increases apply only to businesses, non-owner occupied homes and rental properties. Act 388, South Carolina’s property tax reform measure, replaced tax on primary homes with a one-time sales tax increase on retail purchases to support school operations, The Herald previously reported.
  • More than 80% of the budget is dedicated to employee salaries and benefits, Love said.
  • The district has proposed a 4% raise for all employees and a 2% step salary increase for eligible employees, Love said.
  • The budget calls for 30 new full-time positions, including for special education, according to the district.
  • The Clover school budget is funded with $38.7 million in state money and $54.7 million in local revenue, according to the district.

The Clover school board is set to approve the budget during its June 17 meeting.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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