Thousands of teachers march to SC State House
First-year teachers in Rock Hill could be set to make a minimum of $40,000 starting in 2019-2020.
New salary schedules will be available on June 24, when the school board votes on the 2019-’20 budget, Terri Smith, chief finance officer for the district, said during a public budget hearing Monday.
Rock Hill school district leaders announced the new base teacher pay Monday, up from a previous proposed salary of $39,899 for teachers with a bachelor’s degree and no experience.
“Experienced teachers will not receive less than the beginning teacher’s salary,” Smith said.
Rock Hill leaders also previously approved a $1,000 bonus for certified staff and a $500 bonus for all support staff, to be paid in the fall. The district is offering a $500 signing bonus for math, science and special education teachers.
Rock Hill’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.
Rock Hill is on par with the Clover school district, which has proposed increasing starting teacher pay to $40,075 for 2019-’20.
Fort Mill remains the top paying school district in York County for teachers. A new teacher with no experience in Fort Mill will make $40,250 starting in 2019-2020.
York Preparatory Academy, a public charter school in Rock Hill, approved raising new teacher pay to $40,000.
First-year teachers in Chester County will make a minimum of $38,851 starting in 2019-2020.
Rock Hill’s salary increase is thanks to additional revenue from raised taxes, according to the district. The increase is included in the district’s proposed $172.6 million 2019-’20 budget.
A tax increase will amount to $36 more in taxes each year on a $100,000 business, according to the district.
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.
Public school districts are not fully funded by the state. Under state law, the base student cost should be $3,095 for 2019-20, Smith said.
The state has set the base student cost at $2,489, resulting in a loss of $10.7 million in state revenue for Rock Hill for next school year, Smith said.
- The budget is funded with $63.4 million in local revenue and $107.8 million from the state
- The 2019-2020 proposed budget is 7.38% higher than in 2018-2019
- Salaries and benefits account for 87% of the budget
- The budget includes a state-mandated 4% raise and step salary increase for teachers
- A step salary increase is included for eligible employees, and all district employees will receive a 4% raise
- The budget includes a 5% raise to all salary supplements
- The budget includes three new special education teachers, six classroom assistants, a physical therapist and two language immersion teachers.
- A security technician, two nurses and five mental health counselors also are included in the budget.