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

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

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

The OCSD board has given two readings to its proposed 2022-2023 general fund budget. The final reading of the budget is scheduled for June 14.

The new fiscal year begins July 1. If the state has not approved a budget in time, the district will pass a budget, Foster said. If something then changes on the state level, the district will amend its budget in accordance with the state budget.

State lawmakers are considering different plans for teacher pay.

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

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

House members did add an additional $50 million for public education after some districts said they would need more funding to pay for the mandated raises.

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

The S.C. Senate is proposing a $2,000 teacher pay increase. The district would see a positive year-end balance of about $178,000 under that scenario.

The Senate’s version of the budget raises the teacher starting salary to $38,000, although senators have argued districts should still have the money to add to those raises if they want.

Trustees gave second reading to the district’s proposed general fund budget expenditures under three proposals. Trustee Dr. William O’Quinn was opposed.

Revenues under the three scenarios are the same: 131.5 million.

The revenues are:

• $47.4 million in local revenue

• $22.3 million in state reimbursements

• $51.1 million in state money

• $350,000 miscellaneous

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

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

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

Expenditures under the proposed budgets include:

Proposed budget 1

• $72.4 million in salaries

• 68 cent hourly increase for bus drivers

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

• $32.4 million in employee benefits

• 18.1% increase in employer health costs

• 1% increase in employer retirement costs

Total expenditures: $128.5 million

Proposed budget 2

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

• 68 cent hourly increase for bus drivers

• An experience-based pay increase for eligible employees

• $31.2 million in employee benefits

• 18.1% increase in employer health costs

• 1% increase in employer retirement costs

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

Proposed budget 3

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

• 68 cent hourly rate increase for bus drivers

• An experience-based pay increase for eligible employees

• $30.9 million in employee benefits

Total expenditures: $131.7 million. This budget would place the district’s fund balance about $178,000 in the black.

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