Berkeley County School District’s Approved Budget Includes 4% Wage Increase for Employees

Pictured: Berkeley County School District

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC — With a focus on student opportunities and employee retention/recruitment, the Berkeley County School Board on Tuesday approved its 2022-23 General Fund budget with no mileage increase.

According to school officials, the goals of the budget were to allow the district to increase the salaries of teaching assistants, bus drivers, bus assistants and custodians while fighting inflation and providing a raise. 4% salary to all employees, including teachers.

“The Berkeley County School District remains committed to attracting the best employees for all positions to support student success,” BCSD Board Chair David Barrow said in a press release. “This budget was passed after careful consideration, discussion and input from community members.”

A portion of the increases supported by the board and included in the final budget will be supported by the district fund balance. Salary increases approved by the board in 2021 were also designated to be supported by the fund balance, although expenditures from the fund balance were never required, school officials said.

According to the district, BCSD has a fund balance of $104 million as of June 2021 with an expected increase from the 2021-22 school year. BCSD Chief Financial Officer Ashley Smith also said the district expects local tax revenue growth of at least seven percent for the 2022-23 school year.

“We are well over double the requirement the school board has imposed on itself for the balance of the fund,” Mr Barrow said. “Due to growth and our normal conservative estimates, when we did this last year, nothing was ever taken from the fund balance. Instead, we added to it.

Budget Highlights

  • Guardian pay increased from $11.61 per hour to $14.75 per hour
  • Increase in salary for teaching assistants from $12.73 per hour to $15 per hour
  • 5% increase in pay for bus drivers on the BCSD pay scale (starting salary $16 per hour to $16.80 per hour; state minimum is currently 8, $44)
  • Increase in Bus Attendant pay from $10.90 per hour to $14 per hour
  • Additional $1,000 funded by ESSER for classroom teachers
  • 4% wage increase for all employees (excludes guards, bus drivers, bus attendants and teacher’s aides who are already receiving a raise greater than 4%)