All Horry County Schools employees will be getting a 2 percent salary increase for the 2012-13 school year, while those teachers who qualify for a STEP increase could see more.
The Horry County school board on Monday approved a recommendation to use $5.8 million from its undesignated, unreserved fund balance to cover the raise for all employees. The motion passed 7-2, with Joe DeFeo and Karen McIlrath opposing. Chairman Will Garland and board members Harvey Eisner and John Poston were unable to attend the meeting.
The school district’s budget already had been approved with no funds assigned for any salary increases, as board members waited to see what would come down from the state legislature. The state budget was approved June 11, mandating a 2 percent increase for all employees who are paid on a teacher’s salary schedule, which includes positions such as guidance counselors and media specialists, as well as a STEP increase. The state is to provide $2.6 million toward that cost.
A STEP increase is a state-set periodic pay increase for district teaching employees based on years/level of experience.
HCS Superintendent Cindy Elsberry recommended that the board also provide for the 2 percent increase for all other employees because of their hard work, and to offset increases in insurance and retirement costs that would have left employees taking home less money.
The board can afford to spend the $5.8 million. Its fund balance, after the expenditure, would be left at $20.9 million over and above its required minimum balance, according to John Gardner, HCS’ executive director for accounting services.
The $5.8 million comes from the cost of the teachers’ increase, $3.3 million, added to the cost of the additional 2 percent increase for other employees, $1.4 million, and the original budget deficit of $1.1 million.
The district was to come back to the board with an extra $3 million in cuts, however, those will be looked at for the 2013-14 school year because staff numbers for the upcoming school year already have been set.
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.